Sunday, 24 March 2013

Hot Cross Plait

I love Christmas.

I haven't lost it. I just love the smell of mixed spice. On everything. And Easter is the last time you can indulge in something sweet, spicy, and dried fruit studded, like that until the next time Christmas rolls around. The humble hot cross bun.

Another set of fantastically daft English traditions go along with this cross topped bun of wonders. Ones baked on Good Friday will never spoil. A slice of hot cross bun will cure your ills. Hang them in your kitchen and prevent kitchen fires. Kiss them before you eat them. They'll even prevent shipwrecks. That's a lot for a bun to live up to. 

But my favourite- "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" Share them with your friends for good luck. This is the ultimate sharing hot cross plait. 

Tear it up. 

500gr strong bread flour plus 2tbsp
7gr easy blend yeast
2tbsp soft light brown sugar
1tsp mixed spice
Small pinch of salt
50gr unsalted butter
1/2tsp vanilla extract
250ml warm water
100gr raisins
100gr marzipan, chopped into small chunks

1, Add the 500gr of flour, yeast, soft brown sugar, mixed spice and salt into a large bowl. Cut the butter into chunks and rub into flour. 
2, Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add in the egg and vanilla extract with 200ml of the tepid water. Start to bring this together with a fork, adding more water if necessary, until you are left with a lump of dough that isn’t sticky to the touch. 
3, Turn the dough out onto a work surface that has been lightly dredged in flour and knead for between 5-10minutes until the dough is soft and elastic. Knead in the raisins and marzipan gently. Pop in an oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm. Leave this somewhere warm for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
4, Knock back the dough with your fist and give it another quick knead so that it is smooth. Divide the dough into six equal pieces and stretch and roll into sausages about 3cm thick. I couldn’t video myself doing the plaiting but I followed this video. It’s really easy when you get into the swing of it.

5, When you have finished tucking in the ends of the completed dough plait, transfer to a lined baking sheet and very loosely cover with oiled clingfilm to prevent sticking. Return to the warm place for about 20-30minutes. Before baking, mix together 2tbsp of flour with 2tbsp of cold water to form a thin paste and pipe crosses on each of the sections.
6, Preheat your oven to 220o/c and bake the bread for around 20 minutes. I covered my loosely with foil after about 10 minutes to prevent it darkening too much.
7, Remove from the oven when the loaf is cooked. To test this, tap the bottom of the loaf, if it sounds hollow then you’re on to a winner. 
8, Leave to cool, slightly, before tearing apart.

I was kindly sent some products by Dr Oetker which I have used in this loaf.


  1. i'm going to kiss my hot cross buns before i eat them year. my god, that's an hilarious thing to type!

    1. I've heard about kissing them! That's brilliant! Thank you for commenting :)

  2. so pretty! Such a cool idea!

  3. I love your loaf and after watching GBBO Easter recipe tonight I am even more into the whole Easter flavourings than before. I think the spice is the big pull for me too, the smells of it baking are just the best. Your plait looks great! Hope you have a Happy Easter:)

    1. Thank you Laura :) I missed GBBO, sounded like there were some lovely things on there though! I share that love of the baking spices smell, it fills the entire house. Hope you have a great Easter.