Paul Hollywood’s Hot Cross Buns

This is not my normal Meatless Monday post because next Sunday is Easter and that means it’s time to make hot cross buns. So today I thought I’d share with you my favourite homemade version.

On a whim two years ago I decided it was time to try making these, and I’m not sure how I came across this particular recipe by Paul Hollywood. But there has been no need to venture further – these are amazing!

If you’re familiar with bread baking these really aren’t too big a deal to throw together, they’ve certainly gotten easier each time I’ve made them. I do make one change to the recipe, because the very first time I made them I didn’t have mixed peel in the house so I substituted chopped apricots. I liked it so much more than I normally do that I’ve not switched back.

I don’t mix the dough by hand, I used the dough hook and my mixer, and I’m super grateful for that option cos this dough is VERY sticky. After it’s doubled in size, you add the fruit and the cinnamon and you let it double again, before shaping it into 15 rolls. Then you let them rise a 3rd time before piping a flour/water paste into crosses on the top (I did this under duress as I had a cranky toddler wrapped around my legs asking to be picked up). They bake in 20 minutes and then you glaze them with some warmed up apricot jam and see how long you can resist burning your fingers before tearing one open, slathering it in butter and devouring.

We loved having these for afternoon tea today – my daughter was especially surprising as last year she turned her nose up at them for store bought instead while this year she was trying to steal her baby brother’s!  Not that you’d ever have any reason to buy an ordinary hot cross bun from the store if you make these – and they’ll make you super popular with your family and friends.