Hot Cross Buns

A sticky hot cross bun is the ultimate Easter treat but can be enjoyed all year round. Eat them plain, toasted or spread with jam.

Serves: 24


  • 900 g (2 lb) strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1–2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 4 teaspoons fast-action dried yeast
  • 110 g (4 oz) caster sugar, plus 2 level tablespoons for the glaze
  • 110 g (4 oz) butter, diced
  • 110 g (4 oz) sultanas
  • about 425 ml (15 fl oz) half and half warm milk and water
  • 110 g (4 oz) plain flour


  1. Place the bread flour, salt, mixed spice, yeast and sugar in a large bowl and mix together.
  2. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and then add the sultanas.
  3. Add the milk and water and mix to form a soft dough.
  4. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film or a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size. Knead again for 2–3 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into 24 pieces, knead each piece until smooth and shape into buns.
  7. Place on lightly greased baking trays, allowing room for the buns to rise.
  8. Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size – about 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
  10. Mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 8 tablespoons of water and spoon into a piping bag fitted with an 8 mm (3⁄8 inch) plain nozzle.
  11. Pipe crosses over the tops of the buns.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes or until brown and cooked.
  13. While the buns are cooking, dissolve the 2 level tablespoons of sugar in 2 tablespoons of water.
  14. Bring to the boil and brush over the buns while still hot.
  15. Cool on a wire rack.

For more tea time favourites see the WI book Vintage Teatime compiled by Jessica Simmons and published by Simon and Schuster in 2012.