Notts baking experts share how to make scrumptious hot cross buns for Easter

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without delicious hot cross buns. So an artisan food school in Nottinghamshire has shared a recipe for its indulgent apple, honey and sultana hot cross buns to inspire everyone to get baking with friends and family at home over the bank holiday.

By Jessica Dallison
Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 2:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 2:20 pm
The hot cross buns.
The hot cross buns.

Julie Byrne, from The School of Artisan Food in Welbeck said: “Easter is a traditional time for people to get together with friends and family so why not take the opportunity to have some fun baking hot cross buns together at home. Here at the school, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to understand food provenance, be adventurous about what they eat and to be confident and creative around food.”

Apple, Honey and Sultana Hot Cross Buns

Makes 16 buns

The hot cross buns.


For the decorative dried apples:150g dried apples

For milk sponge:150g bread flour1g fresh yeast150g milk

For crossing paste:30g bread flour 30g water5g vegetable oil0.5g baking powder

Julie Byrne, fromThe School of Artisan Food

For dough:350g bread flour25g fresh yeast5g salt75g butter75g honey150g water40g egg, beaten300g milk sponge12g fresh orange zest12g fresh lemon zest150g sultanas12g mixed spice

Honey for glazing

Method – make in advance

Dried apples:Slice apples into 3mm thick slices. Place on a lined baking tray and bake at 80°c for 3-5 hours with the door slightly open. Dry until slightly leathery.

Head baker Wayne Caddy.

Milk sponge:In a pan, gently warm the milk then stir in the fresh yeast before adding the bread flour. Mix by hand with a wooden spoon until evenly mixed. Cover and leave overnight (or least 12 hours) in an ambient temperature.

Crossing paste:This can be made in advance or on the day. Sieve the flour into a bowl and add water, veg oil and whisk until smooth and shiny. Place into a polythene piping bag and use when required.

Method – on the day

By hand or using a spiral mixer, mix together the milk sponge, bread flour, fresh yeast, salt, water, and egg. Mix in the butter and honey, then add the fruit and mixed spice making sure everything is evenly mixed. The dough should be soft to touch.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled container, cover with cling film and leave to ferment for approximately 60-90 minutes or until the volume has doubled.

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 16 even amounts of dough. Shape each one by hand into a bun. Place buns close together on a lined baking tray in groups of 4. You may wish to use two baking trays. Leave to prove at approximately 30°C for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 230°C.

Take your pre-filled piping bag and snip a small opening. Pipe the crossing paste over the buns. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

When baked, glaze the buns with honey. You can loosen the honey with a little hot water if it is too thick. Place 2 or 3 dried apple slices on top of each bun.