Hollywood Hot Cross Buns? Don't Mind If We Do!

08 April 2014 by

<The Great British Bake Off. Picture courtesy of BBC>


He's the ying to Mary Berry's yang; the (some might call sexy) silver fox of The Great British Bake Off, the Merseyside baker with piercing blue eyes and legions of disciples, both women and men. 

Some diehard GBBO fans call his bread cookbooks baking bibles. Others accuse him of having a soft spot on the younger female contestants. We like him because, actually, we think he looks like a gentleman; the type who would open doors for Mary.  

Whatever your opinions about Paul Hollywood, everyone agrees that he can make a mean bun. So Graziadaily was very happy to hear the news that he is teaming up with Waitrose over the next few weeks to create a series of 12 video recipes, the first of which are available to watch from today. The recipe below is for Paul's special, mistake-proof hot cross buns and we reckon they’re definitely worth a try.

Hot cross buns were traditionally eaten on Good Friday and the cross was cut into the top of them before baking to 'let the devil out'. Sharing one of these sticky, fruity treats is meant to cement friendships, and many people kept a bun from one Easter to the next as a good luck token.

Once your buns are baked you need to decide how you're going to eat them. Serve oven-fresh or toasted, and slather with unsalted butter and marmalade or apricot jam. Or, for a truly indulgent treat, why not sandwich between a dollop of vanilla icecream or chocolate spread. Hang the calories, it's Easter, after all!




Prepare: 20 minutes + 4-5 hrs proving
Cook: 20 minutes
Makes 12

1. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl
and the yeast to the other. Add the butter, eggs, milk and half the water. Use the fingers
of one hand to mix the ingredients together.

2. Add the remaining water a little at a time until you have a soft, sticky dough and all the
flour is incorporated. You may not need all the water.

3. Oil a clean work surface. Tip the dough onto the oil and begin to knead. Continue
kneading for 10 minutes. The dough will become less sticky and feel smooth and silky
when ready.

4. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover until the dough has doubled in size. This
will take between 1 - 3 hours.

5. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and scatter the sultanas, mixed peel,
orange zest, apple, pear and cinnamon on top. Knead in until evenly distributed
throughout the dough. Place the dough back in the bowl and leave to rise for an hour.

6. Fold the dough inwards repeatedly until all the air is knocked out. Divide into 12 equal
pieces and roll into balls. Place them fairly close together on one or two trays lined with
parchment paper. Place each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rise for one hour,
or until double in size.

7. Preheat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7. For the crosses, mix the flour and water
together to form a pipable paste. Using a piping bag fitted with a fine plain nozzle, pipe
crosses on the buns. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Mix the apricot jam with
a little hot water, sieve and brush over the warm buns. Cool on a wire rack.



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