What do I need to know about making hot cross buns?
At their core, hot cross buns are just little yeast-risen, spiced bread rolls, so if you’ve ever made bread, you’ll be able to make them. The only thing to remember is you need to give them time to rise and prove. Other than that, it’s pretty straightforward.
Play with the add-ins
If you like your buns on the spicier side, you can play with the combination of ground spices you include. Cinnamon and nutmeg are the usual choices, but you can also add mixed spice. Add orange and lemon zest, or leave them out if you don’t like them. The debate about dried fruit in hot cross buns seems to be never-ending, but the best thing about making your own is that you can add as much or as little as you like. Add some mixed peel if you like the fruitiness, or replace them with chopped chocolate – go wild to make your own perfect buns.
The finishing touches
It’s not a hot cross bun without a cross, and all this is a paste made from flour and water or milk. The consistency should be thick enough for the cross to hold its shape and so that it doesn’t drip into one big mess. Use a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off to make a piping bag. Once the buns are in the oven, you can make the syrup so that it’s ready to glaze the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.