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Everyone looks forward to the four-day weekend over Easter. It is a great to have the time to kick back, catch up with family and friends and enjoy some tasty treats.

From cute cookies and egg nests to seminal cake and chocolate bunnies, there’s no end of Easter themed goodies to eat at the time of year. Whilst it is easy to pick up BOGOF offers in the supermarket, there’s something really satisfying about sitting down with a piece of cake, you have baked from scratch.

We have done some baking ourselves and have found a recipe for the best ever hot cross buns and we think you’ll love them too.

This is an easy to follow recipe but be aware that it takes quite a lot of time to prepare. It is vital to follow each step and let the dough rise so that you really do get soft, fluffy buns that taste as good as they look.

Ingredients

  • 400g of strong white bread flour and a little extra for dusting
  • 50g of plain flour for creating the crosses
  • A 7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
  • 100g of currants, raisins and peel (it is totally up to you which dried fruits you use but keep the quantities right)
  • 50g of golden caster sugar, plus an extra teaspoon for the crosses
  • One teaspoon of mixed spice and one of ground cinnamon
  • 250ml of slightly warmed full fat mill
  • One medium egg, beaten
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • Two tablespoons of apricot jam
  • Place the strong flour, yeast, caster sugar, salt and spices in a bowl and mix. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the warm milk, beaten eggs and butter. Mix it together with a wooden spoon and finish of with your hands.

Knead the dough on a floured surface for around ten minutes or until it becomes springy and really smooth. Leave the dough to rise in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean, damp tea towel, somewhere warm.

The next step is to place dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten before scattering on the dried fruit. Knead the dough a few more times before dividing into eight even portions which you then need to roll in smooth rounds and place on a greased baking sheet, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise. Cover with a tea towel again and leave for about 20 minutes until they have doubled in size.

Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark six.

To make the crosses, mix the extra plain flour with a teaspoon of sugar and five tablespoons of water and create a thick paste. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and carefully pipe white lines on the buns to make the crosses.

If you’re going to eat the buns untoasted, gently heat the apricot jam in a pan, and brush the warm liquid onto the buns using a pastry brush. If you plan to toast them, then don’t use the sugar glaze as it will burn and spoilt your hard work.

Place in the hot over for 20 minutes until the buns are light brown.

Once the buns have cooled down, enjoy with butter and jam a cup of tea as you read the newspapers.

Happy Easter from all of us at Pure Beauty.

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