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Hot Cross Buns

Asked by CMS. Answered on 3rd April 2012

Full question

Hi Nigella and Team! I love hot cross buns but now that I don't live in the UK I am having difficultly finding any to buy. Are they easy to make at home?

Our answer

Hot cross buns are made from a sweetened bread dough which is enriched with butter and eggs and contain spices, currants, raisins and candied peel. Historically in the UK they are marked with a cross and eaten on Good Friday, though they are now popular all year round. It is also possible to substitute other dried or glace fruits if you don't like the more traditional choices.

It is not too difficult to make the buns as you mix, knead and shape a fairly forgiving dough. Like most breads the most time-consuming part of the process is waiting for the dough to rise. Nigella's Hot Cross Bun recipe in Feast (p159-60 and see link below) makes the process more manageable by doing the first rise of the dough overnight in the fridge, making it easier to have freshly baked buns on Good Friday morning.

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