These glossy, golden hot cross buns look and taste better than anything out of a packet.
Homemade blueberry hot cross buns are such a delight. They are lighter and fresher than packet versions, with the perfect domed crust and a pretty, piped cross. The whole blueberries reduce down slightly when baked, but are still a delicious, juicy surprise as you bite into them. This recipe makes a dozen and they are at their very best on the day they’re baked, but you can store them in a tin for 1-2 days to eat over the Easter weekend. Perfect with a morning cup of tea or coffee, or as a mid-afternoon, buttery treat.
- For this Easter recipe you will need:
- 500g (1 lb 2oz) strong plain white bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ tsp ground mixed spice
- 50g (2oz) caster sugar
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 50g (2oz) butter, diced
- 2 tsp easy blend dried yeast
- 200-250ml (7-8 fl oz) milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 150g (5oz) blueberries
- For the crosses:
- 100g (4oz) strong plain white bread flour
- For the glaze:
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 4 tbsp milk
Mix the flour, salt, spice, sugar and fruit rinds together in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with fingertips until it resembles fine crumbs then stir in the yeast.
Warm the milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave until it feels warm to your little finger. Add the egg to the flour mix then gradually mix in enough of the warm milk to make a soft but not sticky dough.
Tip out on to the work surface then knead for 10 minutes, dusting the work surface lightly with flour as needed. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a teacloth and put in a warm place for 45 mins-1 hr until the dough has doubled in size.
Knead the dough once more then gently knead in the blueberries. Cut the dough into 12 pieces, shape into round buns and put slightly spaced apart on a large greased baking sheet. Cover loosely with a large piece of oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for 20-30 mins.
Sift the flour for the crosses into a bowl and mix in just enough water to make a smooth pipeable mixture (about 6 -6½ tbsp). Spoon into a disposable plastic or greaseproof paper piping bag, snip off the tip and pipe crosses over the buns.
Bake at 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 15 mins until well risen and golden. Meanwhile make the glaze by dissolving the sugar in the milk in a small saucepan then boiling for 1 min. Brush over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven. Leave to cool then serve halved and buttered.
Top tip for making blueberry hot cross buns
Make sure to use easy-blend dried yeast as this doesn’t need to be frothed in warm water or milk before mixing with flour. If unsure, check on the back of the yeast pack.