Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hot Cross Buns & Traditional Easter Biscuits

I'm on holiday this week and I seem to have embarked on some sort of bakeathon! With regard to Easter baking I started with egg box mini cupcakes and have now moved on to hot cross buns and traditional Easter biscuits...but this seems to be just the tip of the iceberg...
This is the first time I've made Hot Cross Buns and I have to say I was rather pleased with the results! I used Paul Hollywood's recipe from the BBC GoodFood website. This recipe was quite time consuming as it involved leaving the dough for an hour, then adding the sultanas, leaving for another hour and finally shaping the buns and then leaving for a further hour to you really need an afternoon to make these. Strangely one of the main ingredients is also finely chopped apple, I guess to keep them moist and add a little more flavour.

The crosses are just a mixture of flour and water with the recipe specifying that a small nozzle should be used to pipe them...on my first batch I used a 2A which is massive, so some of the buns were more cross than anything else. For the ones above I used a much smaller nozzle and hence they look a lot better.
Next up I made some lovely traditional Easter biscuits with currants, mixed peel and spices. Apparently they are often given to guests on Easter Sunday, secured in bundles of three to symbolise the Holy Trinity. Most often, they are also slightly larger than normal biscuits, at up to 10 cm in diameter, however, I kept mine to about 7cm. They taste great with a cup of tea. You can find the recipe below.
The bakeathon continues tomorrow... :-)

Traditional Easter Biscuits

225g unsalted butter
140g caster sugar
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
280g plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
pinch of salt
1 tbsp mixed peel
55g currants
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Beat together the sugar and butter until it is light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolk. Sift in the flour, mixed spice and salt, add the currants and mixed peel and bring together into a dough. Half the dough and wrap each ball in clingfilm before chilling in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

Whilst the dough is in the fridge heat the oven to 190c/170c fan/gas 5. You should also prepare two baking trays by covering them in baking paper. After the allotted time take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out, if it starts to stick you could roll it out between sheets of baking paper or I know some people like to use clingfilm.

The biscuits should then be cut out using a 6cm fluted cutter...I think I used a 7cm as 6cm seemed a bit small! Place on the baking sheet and make sure they are well spaced. Place in the oven for 7 minutes, then take them out and brush them with egg white and sprinkle with sugar and then bake for an additional 5-8 minutes. The biscuits should be golden when they come out. Leave them on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack.

* Adapted from Baking Heaven Magazine (Spring 2012)


  1. Ooooh they came out well. I haven't made hot cross buns before. Will try the Paul Hollywood recipe as well ! And the biscuits look great, I love Easter biscuits

  2. Love this post. I'm all inspired! X

  3. Wish I had some time off to indulge in a bakeathon too :) The hot cross buns look awesome - much better than shop bought. Will have to try making them one day, maybe next year. Love the biscuits too - more than the buns :)

  4. I've never made hot cross buns before, they look delicious! I've awarded you a Happy Blogger award, check it out here:

  5. Your buns look yummy and very very tempting. Never made them before but definitely on my "to-bake" (ever growing) list :D.
    Happy Easter

  6. This is lovely. Homemade buns are a real treat and the biscuits just look perfect.
    Please pop over to my site there is a surprise for you. Have a nice Easter. XX

  7. They look delicious. I wish I had one with my tea right now.

  8. I can't believe this is your first time making hot cross buns. They look perfect!

  9. I am impressed by your hot cross buns and love your Easter biscuits too. Wish I had more time to get baking but being in Cornwall means I am taking a back seat for a week! Happy Easter to you x

  10. Your hot cross buns look perfect! Love those biscuits too.

  11. Your buns look great, especially your neat crosses :) I have baked mine yesterday also using Paul Hollywood's recipe with few alterations (no apple and more mixed peel + no apricot jam but sugar, water and mixed spice wash). I have also added some mixed spice together with cinnamon in the buns after reading comments on BBC Good Food website that buns were not spicy enough. Time consuming because of 3xproving but definitely worth the wait although my crosses came out not as nice as yours (used plastic bag for piping). Decision has been made - am buying propoer piping bag next :) Love your blog!

  12. Thanks all...I'll definitely make them again!

    Jo...I completely agree about the time I think I would add some mixed spice too and your mixed spice wash sounds great too! The apple just melted couldn't really taste it...I guess it just makes them more moist! :-)

  13. Biscuits and buns both look great. I haven't made either for years. You've inspired me for next year - if I can keep it up :-S


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