2 1/4tsp(1 standard sachet/7g) instant dried yeast
1 1/4cups(300ml) full-fat milk
1/4cup(60g) unsalted butter
zest of 1 large orange
olive oil for kneading
For the crosses:
3heaped tbspplain flour
For the glaze:
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) add the flour and sugar, then on one side of the bowl add the salt, and add the yeast to the other side (yeast doesn’t like direct contact with salt). Set aside.
In a jug, add the milk, butter and orange zest, and heat in the microwave until the butter has melted and the liquid is hot, but not so hot it would burn you. Add the liquid to the flour mixture, then give it a quick mix using the dough hook, or with a wooden spoon if mixing by hand.
Add in the egg, mix again, then knead using the dough hook for 5 minutes. If kneading by hand, knead for 5-10 minutes on an oiled (rather than floured) surface (too much flour will make the buns tough).
Add the sultanas and sprinkle the cinnamon over the dough and mix for a further minute to distribute through the dough.
Gather the dough into a ball and place in a bowl that’s been lightly greased with olive or vegetable oil. Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm room for an 1-2 hours - until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 19 equal (ish) pieces. You can do this by eye, or you can weigh the dough and divide by 19 - weighing each piece and adjusting as you cut it (mine where 55g each).
Shape each piece into a ball and arrange on a tray that's been covered with a piece of baking parchment. I arranged it so there was a vertical line of 5 down the middle, then a vertical line of 4 either side, then finally a vertical line of 3 on the outsides. This makes two rough circles surrounding the centre bun. Arrange the balls so they're about a centimeter apart (They'll start to join up with the final prove and also during baking). Place the baking try inside a carrier bag and leave to prove for one final hour.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and make up the paste for the crosses. In a bowl, mix the flour with about 5 tbsps of cold water using a fork. You're looking for paste about the consistency of wallpaper paste, so may need to add a bit more flour or water.
Spoon the paste into a piping bag with a small round nozzle (or a plastic sandwich bag with a tiny hole in the corner) and draw the crosses on the buns. Place in the oven and cook for 20 mins.
Take out of the oven, then glaze whilst still hot (this helps to ensure the buns stay soft on top). Heat the marmalade in a small pan or very carefully in a microwave until runny. You can sieve the marmalade if you want it completely lump free. Spread the marmalade all over the tops and sides of the buns with a pastry brush.
Serve as they are, or toasted (just toast on the inside as the marmalade burns very easily) and spread with butter.
Toasting hot cross buns:
If you want to toast these hot cross buns, slice them in half and toast the inside only. The marmalade on top means the tops of the buns would burn quickly.
How to store homemade hot cross buns:
Keep the hot cross buns in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days.Alternatively you can cover and freeze them for up to 6 months. Defrost and toast before eating.
How long will homemade hot cross buns last?
They're best on the day of baking, but will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container.
Swap out the raisins for cranberries, candied peel and/or chopped glace cherries.For a chocolate version, try my chocolate orange hot cross buns.Nutritional Information is per serving.