Of course you can buy delicious hot cross buns but if you have time over the Easter weekend, why not come together and bake a batch to share with family, friends and neighbours? We love the addition of dried cranberries in this gently spiced version.
Preparation Time: 40 minutes, plus 1 hour 30 minutes proving time
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
200ml semi-skimmed milk
55g unsalted butter
2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
455g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
55g caster sugar
2 balls of stem ginger, finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten
30g dried cranberries
2 tablespoons mixed peel
2 tablespoons plain flour
Add the milk and 50ml water to a small pan and warm over a low heat for a few minutes; you should be able to dip your finger in without scalding it.
Add the butter to a separate pan, melt over a low heat, then set aside.
Transfer the warmed milk mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the yeast.
Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the sea salt, spices and sugar, then stir the chopped stem ginger into the mix.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in the melted butter, followed by the yeast mixture, then the beaten egg.
Using a fork, mix well until you have a rough dough. Transfer the dough to a clean, flour-dusted work surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until soft and springy.
Return the dough to a flour-dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.
Transfer the dough to a clean, flour-dusted work surface. Knock the air out by bashing it with your fist, then sprinkle over the dried fruit and mixed peel, and knead into the dough for 1 to 2 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Grease and line a large baking tray.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball, evenly spacing them out on the tray as you go.
Cover with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Place the plain flour and 2 tablespoons water into a small bowl and mix to a thick paste.
Gently pat down the risen buns then use the batter to carefully trace a cross over the top with a piping bag or spoon.
Place the buns into the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Transfer to a wire cooling rack, brush over a little honey to glaze, then leave to cool.
Slice open the sticky hot cross buns, spread with a little butter and serve – delicious!