Try making these hot cross buns from Bake With Jack this Easter

PUBLISHED: 12:22 02 April 2020

Jack's Hot Cross Buns

Jack's Hot Cross Buns


Fresh from his latest live TV slot on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and well ahead of his appearance at this year’s Woking Food & Drink Festival, Jack Sturgess shares his recipe for this traditional Easter bake

Ingredients (makes 9-12)

For the dough

500g strong white bread flour

8g salt

60g golden caster sugar

10g mixed spice or 2tbsp

2g ground cinnamon or 1tsp

Zest of 1 orange

Zest of 1 lemon

50g soft butter

1 medium Egg

25g fresh yeast or 2 x 7g sachets of dry fast action yeast

250g room temperature milk

For the filling

100g raisins

100g sultanas

For the cross

50g strong white bread flour

50g water

Pinch of sugar

For the glaze

Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon

Caster sugar


1) First, soak your raisins and sultanas in boiling water from the kettle for 10 minutes, drain and set aside to cool. If you are well organised, soak them overnight in just enough cold water to cover and drain. This step is essential to keep the fruit juicy and prevent it from tightening up the dough.

2) Measure your flour, sugar, salt, and spice into a large bowl. Add the orange and lemon zest, mix everything together. Next, add the egg to the bowl, and the butter broken up into pieces.

3) Weigh the milk into a jug, and pop in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to take the chill off. If you are using fresh yeast you’ll need to dissolve it into the milk before moving on to step 4. If you are using dry yeast, pop it into the flour bowl.

4) Pour the liquid into the bowl and mix everything together until it comes together into a dough, turn it out onto the table.

5) Knead the dough on a clean table for 8 minutes resisting the urge to dust it with flour. It will be sticky at first but use your dough scraper to have a tidy every now and again, and to loosen the dough from the table.

6) Next, dust the table lightly, spread out the dough and sprinkle over the soaked fruit. Roll them up inside and continue kneading until they are evenly dispersed.

7) Shape the dough into a ball, using a light dusting of flour, and place it back into the bowl. Dust again, cover with a clean cloth, and leave to rest at room temperature for 90-120 minutes.

8) When your dough has puffed up nicely, dust the table with a little flour and turn the dough out onto it. Divide the dough into nine to twelve pieces. Nine pieces for LARGE buns and 12 pieces for more traditional size. Roll each piece into a ball and arrange on a large parchment lined tray. Place them a finger width apart, and they will join each other as they prove.

9) Cover very loosely with cling film and allow 60-90 minutes for the buns to prove up.

10) While your buns are proving, you have two tasks to keep you busy. First, the cross. Mix up the cross ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Fit a piping bag with a very small nozzle, or use a disposable one, and fill it with the mixture ready to go. Next, the glaze. Weigh the juice of your zested orange and lemon into a small pan, then add the same weight of caster sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened. Leave to cool, it should be a jam-like consistency.

11) Towards the end of the proving stage, preheat the oven to 180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6, and pipe the crosses on the top of the buns.

12) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the buns from the oven, and when they are cool enough to handle, transfer them to a wire rack.

13) Use a pastry brush to glaze the top of each bun with your orange and lemon syrup, warm it up slightly if it’s become too thick, then leave to cool.

For more recipes and bread tips from Jack, visit:

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