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Extra-fruity hot cross buns

These hot cross buns are made with wholemeal flour and extra fruit. They have all the traditional flavour, and are filling and satisfying.
30 minutes + proving time: 2 x 1 hour
20–25 minutes
Each 102g serving contains (excludes serving suggestion)
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500g wholemeal flour, plus 1 tbsp for kneading
1.5 tsp/7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
50g soft brown sugar
2 heaped tsp ground mixed spice
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 egg, beaten
grated zest 1 lemon
grated zest 1 orange
1 apple, cored and grated, but not peeled
200ml warm milk
125g mixed dried fruit
2 tsp sunflower oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and mixed spice together in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl, beat the banana, egg, grated lemon zest, orange zest and apple.
  3. Gradually mix the warm milk into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, then mix in the egg and banana mixture.
  4. Start kneading this sticky dough with one hand, then tip it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Stretch and push the dough with the heel of your hand, folding it over and sprinkling a little more flour if it's sticking too much. Knead for 5–10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Flatten the dough out and sprinkle with dried fruit, fold it over and knead for a couple of minutes more until the dried fruit is mixed in.
  6. Lightly oil a large bowl with a teaspoon oil and put the dough into the bowl, cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour (an airing cupboard is great) it should double in size.
  7. Divide the mixture into 12 round buns, arrange them on one or two lightly oiled baking sheets, allowing plenty of room for expansion. Cover again with plastic film or a clean tea towel and leave to rise for another hour.
  8. Cut a deep cross on each bun with a sharp knife, then bake for 20–25 minutes until golden brown.
Chefs tips
  • Eat warm from the oven or cool and store in an airtight container for 2–3 days. Warm the buns in the microwave, or split and toast them.
  • To add white crosses to the top, mix 50–60g flour with 2 tbsp water into a paste, roll out and cut into strips. Then, brush with water and stick onto the buns just before they go into the oven.
  • Freezing instructions: Suitable for freezing once cooked. Freeze in individually wrapped portions to use as required. Defrost for 2 hours, or in the microwave.
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