I’m pretty sure that I had a whole post written, in my head at least, to go alongside these hot cross buns but now it’s Tuesday afternoon and I’m sitting on the balcony of out hotel room in La Jolla in the afternoon sun and I can’t really think of anything that I want to say.

So, if it’s okay with you, I’ll just leave you with some pictures and get back to my book…


Spiced cranberry hot cross buns

Adapted from a Paul Hollywood recipe

Yield: Makes 12 – 15

As you may be able to tell from the pictures, I actually made a half batch of these for the photographs because nobody needs 12 hot cross buns lying around the week before they go on holiday. Making half a batch involves separating an egg in half which I normally do by beating the egg and then weighing it. I used the other half of the egg to make another small batch of flourless hazelnut butter cookies. I am nothing if not resourceful. This recipe is a bit of a faff (although very easy) as the dough requires three separate rises. I think it’s worth the hassle personally. 

  • 300ml (1 1/4 cups) milk
  • 50g (a little under half a stick) unsalted butter
  • 500g (4 cups) strong bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 75g (1/3 cup) unrefined caster/granulated sugar
  • 1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g (4 oz) dried cranberries
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Olive oil, to grease the cling film

For the cross:

  • 75g (2/3 cup) plain flour
For the syrup:
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined caster/granulated sugar

Heat the milk in a pan over a low heat until it is just about to boil, stirring to prevent any scorching. Add the butter and stir until it has all melted and leave to cool until it is warm (the same temperature as your hand ie the temperature at which yeast is activated).
Meanwhile, put the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Make a well in the middle and add the warm milk/butter and then the egg. Bring everything together with a wooden spoon and then knead the mixture on a low setting for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Cover the ball of dough loosely with an oiled piece of cling film. Set aside in a warm place for an hour or so until it has doubled in size.
When it has risen, put the bowl back on your stand mixer. Add the cranberries and spices and knead again for a couple of minutes until combined. Re-cover with cling film and allow to rise again for an hour or so until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into equal pieces weighing 75g (3oz). I usually get between 12 and 14 from the mixture.
Place the balls of dough on a baking tray lined with parchment leaving room for them to expand cover, again, with a piece of oiled cling film. Let them rise again for an hour until they have, you’ve guessed it, doubled in size.
Finally, you’re ready to bake! Heat the oven to 200C/375F (fan). Mix the flour with 2 or 3 tablespoons of water until you have a smooth paste and pipe the crosses onto the buns.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.
While they are cooking, melt the sugar in 2 tablespoons of water. When the hot cross buns are cooked, take them out the oven and brush with the syrup so that they look all shiny and appetising.

Tagged with →  
20 Responses to "spiced cranberry hot cross buns"
  1. These are gorgeous! ps what are you reading??

  2. Hey, as someone else currently on the West Coast hearing about all my friends and family’s weather troubles back in London, I would not be thinking about what to write alongside photos of hot cross buns – enjoy your book and all this lovely sunshine – I’m really going to miss Los Angeles next Winter!

  3. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Winnie! I’m currently reading The Jewels of Paradise by Donna Leon. It’s set in Venice and tells the story of a modern-day music scholar who is researching the mystery behind a 17th century Italian composer. Perfect vacation reading!

  4. Kathryn says:

    I’m pretty sure I’m not going to want to go back to the snow next week, a whole winter here would put me off it for life!

  5. Bernideen says:

    I can’t wait to print this out! Wonderful!

  6. haha, sometimes you just have to let the recipe do the talking. i’ve never had a hot cross bun and i think i’ll start with these! have a great time on vacation!

  7. I love that. Enjoy the sunshine and your book! I’ll just be over here drooling over these hot cross buns.

    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

  8. Sophie says:

    I can’t tell you how envious I am of you sitting in the sun. I’m about ready to pack up and emigrate right now. These look delicious. Hope you are having a great trip!

  9. realistic nutritionist says:

    HAHAHA. I’m so glad you are skipping blogging to enjoy sun!

  10. Shanna says:

    They’re beautiful! And the thought of you, sitting out there soaking up sunshine, is exactly what my cold house and I need today. : ) Hope you’re having a wonderful time!

  11. Here’s hoping you’re far away from your computer and still lapping up all that lovely sunshine as I type! Have a wonderful rest of your trip.

  12. Julie @ Table for Two says:

    I’m like that allll the time. Sometimes I just want to post pics and let the pictures do the talking!! Hope you’re having so much fun :) these buns look delish!

  13. Sometimes the recipe speaks for itself :)

  14. sarah kieffer says:

    Love! I hope your book is good. And your trip is lovely. xo

  15. says:

    I know what you mean–sometimes the food just needs to speak for itself. Happy vacationing!

  16. Words can’t describe how jealous I am of your holiday… :-)
    As for these buns, they look beautiful. I used that Paul Hollywood recipe too and the second rise with the fruit makes all the difference. Well worth it for perfect buns!

  17. Betty Boo says:

    Gorgeously wonky and rustic. I bet they were delicious.

  18. Ashley says:

    Holy moly, girl! I love this spiced up cranberry version of hot cross buns – brilliant!

  19. Tracy says:

    I just found this recipes. I can’t wait to try this. Really enjoying your blog,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *