Hot Cross Buns

Today is Mothering Sunday! I like the fact that you have a day dedicated to Mothers. There should be more days for them in fact! Think about all the things your Mother has done/does for you, aside from the small matter of birthing you. I have mentioned my Mum a few times on my blog. And what?! I will continue to mention her as an when I please! Mainly because she is my main influence when it comes to cooking. And talking loudly. You can thank her for that too!
People come from far and wide to sample my Mum’s cooking. That may or may not be a slight exaggeration, but I just wanted to make clear just how good her food is. It is bloody fantastic. There are very few things she makes that I don’t like. If I don’t like something, chances are, I am the fussy one, and her cooking is not to blame! Except that one time she made soup and put too much lemon in. Oh and those rock cakes she made that were really like rocks.

So what are my favourite things Mumma B makes? Well, obviously her Indian food. I don’t like to go to Indian restaurants purely because I have my very own Michelin star indian chef at home. Again, just a slight confabulation. My favourite (Gujarati) Indian dishes include, kadhi and dal bhat. You’re going to have to google them, otherwise we will be here all day talking about the in’s and out’s of Gujarati food. Don’t worry, that is all to come in the very near future! Aside from Indian food my Mum makes THE BEST macaroni cheese and her spag bol (veggie of course) is pretty darn delightful. Oh also her Egg Mayo sandwiches could easily be sold for £5 at some hipster cafe.
When it comes to baking, my Mum is a pro at making some of the classics like lemon drizzle and Bakewell tart.  She also has this orange chocolate cake that she makes, that EVERYONE loves.

My Mum is da bomb. She sometimes calls me up after going shopping to either tell me the exciting things she ahas bought or to tell me whats on offer. I am not being sarcastic. I really do like the fact that she does this. I then know what I am looking for when I go shopping! My poor Mum has to deal with a lot of sarcasm from me and my brother, and bad jokes from my Dad. Sometimes the jokes are so bad, or the sarcasm so dry, it goes straight over head. And then we laugh at her. But my Mum’s a good sport. We haven’t made her cry (too many times). Nah just mess’n. I would like to make an extra special shout out to my Ma today, for bringing me beetroot hummus and breadsticks as I shouted “I need more breadsticks…please”, from the dining room. Despite it being mothers day, she is still looking after me when I should be doing things for her! Don’t worry I am making dinner; glamorgan sausages and mash!

Talking of jokes, you haven’t had one in a while. I dough not knead to tell you how much I love to tell bad jokes. I will rise to the challenge and prove it to you though…

What does a nosey pepper do?
Get jalapeño business!

I hope you appreciated that well thought out pun riddled sentence. Which brings me nicely on to todays recipe. HOT CROSS BUNS. I am gonna tell you something that might shock you. My favourite Easter treat is not chocolate eggs but hot cross buns. I especially like apple and cinnamon ones mmmm. I don’t understand why they aren’t sold all year round! With Easter weekend a few weeks away I thought I would try making them for myself. I used Paul Hollywood’s recipe from his book How to Bake. The whole book is full of great recipes for the inexperienced to the bread baking pro’s. There are some really nice step by step photos for some of the trickier recipes.

The Hot Cross Buns turned out great! I was worried they wouldn’t rise as I forgot to reactivate the yeast! I didn’t realise that Dry Active Yeast requires reactivation before use. Take note. It does. That being said, the buns came out fine. Better than fine. They were fantastic! So soft and not dense at all. The fresh apple added a nice bit of texture and the orange zest, some extra flavour. They also have mixed peel in and I love citrus peel. When I was younger I used to pick the little gems out of my teacake at breakfast, and save them until the end! I will definitely be making these again. And not just at Easter!!


As previously mentioned, this recipe is adapted from Paul Hollywood’s recipe, which can be found in How to Bake. To any of you budding bakers, this is a book I highly recommend!
Serves: Makes 12 buns
Prep time: 30 mins
Rising/Resting Time: 3-4hrs 
Cooking time: 20 mins
Skill Level: Need to be able to deal with dough

Large mixing bowl x2
Tea towel
Knife/dough cutter
Large oven tray or 2 x small (lined with baking parchment)
Plastic bag
Piping bag + fine nozzle
Pastry brush

500g Strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
10g salt

75g caster sugar
10g instant yeast
40g unsalted butter (softened)
2 eggs (beaten)
120 ml milk (warm)
120ml water (cool)
150g sultanas
80g chopped mixed peel
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1 dessert apple (peeled, cored and chopped)
2tsp cinnamon 
For the crosses:
75g plain flour
75ml water
To glaze:
75g apricot jam


  1. Put the flour in mixing bowl. To one side, add salt and sugar. To the other side, add yeast. (if using dry active yeast, be sure to reactivate before use!)
  2. Add butter, milk, eggs and half the water. Mix round with your hands until all the flour has been picked up from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add a remaining water a little at a time to form a soft dough. Use mix to clean sides of bowl. (You do not want the dough to be soggy, so you may not need to add all the water, just enough to bring all the flour together). 
  4. Tip dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10mins. Dough should form a soft, smooth skin and should feel smooth and silky.
  5. Put dough in a lightly oiled  mixing bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for at least 1hr until dough has doubled in size.  (You can weigh out the rest of the ingredients and chop the apple whilst the dough rises)
  6. Tip dough on to a lightly floured surface and scatter sultanas, peel, zest, apple and cinnamon on top.
  7. Knead dough until the fruits are evenly spread. Return to oiled mixing bowl and leave to rise for 1hr.
  8. Remove from bowl and fold dough inwards (to remove air).
  9. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll into balls.
  10. Place dough balls fairly close together on a lined baking tray or two.
  11. Place tray in clean plastic bag and leave to rest for 1hr until dough has doubled in size. (At this point I put the tray in the fridge as I wanted to bake them in the morning. I removed from the fridge 30min before adding crosses and baking)
  12. Preheat oven to 220c/200c fan/Gas 7 whilst buns are rising.
  13. Mix together plain flour and water to form a thick paste. Transfer into clean piping bag with a fine nozzle attached. 
  14. Pipe crosses onto buns.
  15. Bake in oven for 20mins until golden brown.
  16. Warm jam with a splash of water and brush over buns to glaze.
  17. Leave buns to cool on wire rack.
My Mum is cool and she likes Fleet Foxes so here you go…


p.s. This weeks bonus shot; family photo. Check out the beautiful Mumma B.

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