Simple to make, these delicious bakes are the perfect Easter treats for sharing with family and friends

hot cross buns with decorative hearts and kisses crossing batter

Image: Lisa Linder

These seasonal classics are far too tasty to be made only once a year, especially as they're baked with aromatic allspice and cinnamon - the warming scent wafting through the kitchen is truly one of the best baking smells of all.

Here's a little tip, when following this recipe be imaginative with your crossing batter and experiment with different designs, such as guests' initials. To top it off, make sure you serve the buns with salted butter and a drizzle of honey!

Prep: 3 hours

Cook: 15 mins

Makes: 9

Ingredients

  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • 350g strong white bread flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp each ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 7g sachet of easy-bake yeast
  • 140ml tepid water
  • 1 egg
  • 100g dried fruits – golden raisins, cranberries and blueberries or similar
  • Oil for greasing

For the spiced syrup glaze

  • 100ml water
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • Pinch of allspice

Crossing batter

  • 50g strong white bread flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 20g unsalted butter, melted
  • 80ml water

Method

  1. First, grease and line a 21cm square baking tin with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Next, gently melt the unsalted butter in a small pan then set aside, leaving to cool slightly. Place the flour, salt, sugar, ground allspice, cinnamon and yeast into the bowl of your electric mixer. With the dough hook attached and the mixer running, carefully pour in the water, egg and then the melted butter. Leave the machine to knead the dough for around 8–10 minutes, after which it should be a smooth and elastic consistency. Now add the fruit and knead for a minute or two.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it. Rub a small amount of oil over the top of the dough and cover the bowl tightly with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place until the mixture has doubled in size – this will process will take at least an hour, but sometimes longer, so do be patient.
  4. Once the dough has risen, ease it out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and split into nine equal-sized pieces, weighing them if you want to be precise. Roll each into a ball and place in the baking tin, leaving an equal-sized gap between each. Cover with cling film and leave to double in size until the buns are touching and filling the tin – this takes about an hour.
  5. Make your spiced glaze by heating everything in a saucepan until simmering. Set aside until needed.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Now make the crossing batter by whisking everything in a bowl until smooth. Place into a disposable piping bag and once the buns are ready for the oven, pipe out the hearts, crosses and kisses.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the delicious buns are plump and golden on both sides. Brush with the glaze and place on a wire rack to cool.

 

Recipe taken from Soulful Baker by Julie Jones.

 

Have any Easter treat recipes to share? Tweet us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page.

 

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