Surely nothing says Easter quite like Hot Cross Buns and they’re easier than you might think. This easy Hot Cross Buns recipe, filled with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries is the perfect thing for Easter brunch.This recipe has rising time - plan ahead.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand-mixer, stir together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt.
In a small saucepan over low-med heat, heat just half the milk and the butter until the butter melts. Take it off the heat and add the remaining milk (this will cool it enough not to kill the yeast).
Add the milk mixture and vanilla to the dry ingredients and give a mix with a spatula to combine a little, then add the egg.
Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and knead the dough on low-medium speed for 6-7 minutes. When it's ready the dough will look fairly smooth and elastic but still sticky. (You can knead by hand but it may take around 10 minutes and resist the urge to add too much flour as it needs to remain a bit sticky).
Add the cranberries and chocolate chips and knead them through too.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and flip it over so it's covered in oil. Cover with plastic wrap then let it rise for about 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200C / 395F / 180C fan forced. Line a 9x13 inch baking tray or casserole dish with baking paper.
Shape the dough into a disk and then cut it into 12 even wedges (notes). Roll each wedge into a smooth ball by first tucking the edges underneath until it's a circle shape, then roll to a ball.
Sit the balls of dough in the baking pan, evenly spaced and cover with a clean tea towel. Let them rise another 1/2 hour until almost doubled in size again.
Whisk together the egg yolk and the dash of water, then brush lightly over the buns.
Mix together the remaining flour and water until you have a smooth pipeable paste. Pour it into a plastic sandwich bag and snip off a tiny bit of the corner. Pipe a cross over each of the buns.
Place in the oven and cook for 25-27 minutes or until the top is nice and golden brown.
Let them cool a little before serving but they can be served warm or at room temperature, or you can toast them. Spread with butter, jams, fruit curds or whatever you love.
Please take a moment to rate this recipe. I really appreciate it and it helps me create more recipes.
For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
Cutting into wedges: Start with the dough in a large disk shape. Cut it evenly in half down the centre. Now cut across the other direction to make it 4 even quarters. Cut each quarter into 3 even wedges.
You can add other dried fruits in place of the cranberries and / or the white chocolate chips. Sultanas, currants, raisins and orange peel are common. You could use finely chopped dried apricot, chopped dried figs, a little lemon zest or orange zest too.