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Hot Cross Bun Loaf

Easter falls at the beginning of April this year, so with that in mind, we want to jump right into the springtime festivities with a brand new Easter recipe. Last year we gave homemade hot cross buns a go. This year, we wanted to try something a little different. We present to you: the hot cross bun loaf!
Yes, you heard us right... it's like one giant hot cross bun that you can slice and slather in butter. What's not to love?!

It is an easy and straightforward recipe to make, however, you will need to allow a couple of hours in total for preparation and to let the dough prove. Give it a try to make a deliciously different addition to your Easter weekend celebrations!


For the dough:

  • 425g strong plain white bread flour
  • 50g unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 75g raisins
  • 75g sultanas
  • 50g glacé cherries, chopped
  • 25g mixed candied peel
  • 125ml whole milk

For the criss-cross pattern topping:

  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp water

+ Golden syrup for the glazing

Want to make individual buns instead? 
Simply split the dough into 10 balls, place on a flat baking sheet and reduce the cooking time to 25 minutes. 


1. Place the flour and diced butter into a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers, rub the flour and butter together until it starts to resemble breadcrumbs. 

2. Next, add in the yeast and mix well.

3. Add in the cinnamon, mixed spice, sugar, raisins, sultanas, glace cherries and candied peel.  

4. Pour 125ml of boiling water into a jug and add the 125ml of milk, give it a quick stir. Pour the contents of the jug into the mixing bowl and, using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until it comes together to form a dough. 

5. Sprinkle a little flour onto the worktop surface. Turn out the dough onto the floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes. 

6. Using your hands, form the dough into a loaf shape and place it into a lined loaf tin. Cover the dough lightly with a clean cotton cloth or tea towel, and leave for 1 1/2 hours until it has doubled in size. 

7. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/gas mark 6 and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.

8. Brush the top of the loaf with some milk. 

9. To make the criss-cross pattern for the top of the loaf, mix the milk, water and flour together to make a smooth paste. Pour the paste mixture into a piping bag and snip the end off. Pipe over the paste mixture in any pattern you like. 

10. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. To check if the loaf is cooked properly, turn out the loaf upside down and tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow then the loaf is cooked. 

11. Glaze the top of the loaf by brushing golden syrup over it ensuring every part of the top is covered. 

12. Rest the loaf on a wire rack to cool. 

Serve sliced as it is or toasted with a generous spread of fresh butter.

Make light work of baking with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer...