Forget Easter eggs, Hot Cross Buns are the treat to have over Easter weekend! The sweet, spiced fluffy bun marked with a cross is traditionally served on Good Friday symbolising the end of Lent as the dairy ingredients cannot be eaten during this time. The cross markings on the bun represent the crucifixion of Jesus and the spices inside were used to signify the spices used to embalm him at his burial. It was known that if they were baked fresh on Good Friday then they would last for the following year after without going mouldy or stale – although we don’t recommend trying this!

There is a theory that the Hot Cross Bun originates from St Albans in 1361 when a monk developed a similar recipe and distributed the buns to the poor on Good Friday. It’s no wonder they are a favourite bake this time of year, as they have had centuries of perfection!

 

The buns are best served toasted with butter, do you fancy making your own at home? Why not have a go at our recipe below – if you aren’t so brave or baking savvy then we are serving them all weekend at Pallant Café so you can cheat and treat yourself over the Easter break.

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tsp quick rise yeast
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup dried raisins
  • FOR THE CROSS
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 12 tsp water
  • FOR THE GLAZE
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • METHOD
  • Dust a baking tray with flour
  • In a medium bowl, combine the warm water and yeast, mix well until dissolved
  • Add the sugar and egg and whisk until combined
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon until a smooth batter
  • Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes it should appear bubbly – add the oil and salt and fold with a spatula
  • Add the remaining cup of flour and mix into a ball, transfer to a mixer and add the spices
  • Add the raisins or currants and mix gently for 5 minutes
  • Transfer the dough to a flour-dusted table and form into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and leave covered for 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes the dough has roughly doubled in size, knock the air out of it and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a small ball
  • Place all the dough balls onto your baking tray almost touching each other
  • Cover with a towel and leave to rise for another hour
  • While these are rising, make a mixture for the cross. Mix the water and flour to form a paste, once the buns have risen using a piping bag squeeze the cross mixture across the buns in both directions to form a cross.
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C – gas mark 7
  • Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for approx. 20 minutes until golden brown
  • For the glaze, bring the sugar and water to boil in a saucepan – simmer until reduced and a syrup has formed
  • Glaze the buns when they come out of the oven and leave to cool
  • Enjoy!

 

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