Best Ever Hot Cross Buns

Nothing says Easter like traditional Hot Cross Buns.

  • 250 ml water
  • 0.5 cup lemon verbena leaves ((firmly packed))
  • 125 ml buttermilk
  • 14 g dry yeast ((2 sachets))
  • 0.5 cup caster sugar
  • 4 cups plain flour (white)
  • 1 cup plain flour (wholemeal)
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.25 cups sultanas
  • 80 ml canola oil

Flour paste

  • 50 g plain flour (white)
  • 60 ml water

Glaze

  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  1. Measure out all the ingredients before you start.

  2. Preheat oven to 200C.

Make Lemon Verbena Tea

  1. Place the water and lemon verbena leaves into a small saucepan.

  2. Cover with lid and bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 2 minutes.

  3. Set aside allowing lemon verbena to steep in the water.

Prepare the Yeast

  1. Place the buttermilk into a small saucepan and heat gently until lukewarm NOT HOT! To test, dip in your finger, it should feel just warm.

  2. Remove from heat and whisk in the yeast and sugar.

  3. Pour the lemon verbena liquid through a strainer into the yeast mixture, pressing out as much of the liquid as possible; discard the lemon verbena leaves.

  4. Set liquid ingredients aside for a few minutes while preparing the dry ingredients.

Mixing the Dough

  1. In the large bowl combine the flour, mixed spice, salt and sultanas.

  2. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.

  3. Add the yeast mixture, and oil. Use one hand draw the flour mixture into the centre and mix to a soft sticky dough.

  4. Sprinkle a little flour over the bench.

  5. Tip out the dough and use your hands to squash it all together into one lump. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, only sprinkling it with flour if it feels too sticky.

  6. Lightly oil a bowl and place the ball of dough into the bowl, turn over the dough to cover with oil, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it for 1 hour in a warm spot to double in size.

Make the Flour Paste

  1. Place the flour and water in a bowl and beat until smooth, adding more water if the paste is too thick.

  2. Spoon into a piping bag or small plastic bag.

Make the Glaze

  1. Heat the sugar and water in the small saucepan until the sugar dissolves.

  2. Simmer uncovered, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

Shaping & Baking

  1. Line the large baking tray with baking paper.

  2. Punch the dough down once to release the air, then knead for 30 seconds.

  3. Roll the dough into a long sausage and use a dinner knife to divide dough into 32 even sized pieces.

  4. Shape each piece into a ball and place close together, but not quite touching onto the prepared trays.

  5. If time allows, set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes or until well risen.

  6. Now you are ready to pipe the crosses. Snip a small hole in the corner of the bag and pipe the flour paste to form crosses over the buns.

  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until well browned and risen.

  8. Brush the hot buns with the glaze.

  9. Cool slightly before serving.