Hot Cross Buns by Nigella Lawson – Happy Easter!
Hot Cross Buns by Nigella Lawson – Happy Easter!

House hunting.

Patience is not a virtue of mine. If things aren’t happening fast enough, a little voice inside my head starts panicking. I go into anxiety mode and either drop the whole thing altogether or scramble to try harder to get what I want. Looking for a house to buy has taught me a lot about patience.

Pizzaboy and I have been house hunting for over a year now and it has tested me so me many times. Real estate agents, property prices and home loans have cluttered much of our conversations with friends and family since our venture into lifetime debt.

I knew from the beginning it wouldn’t be easy. We don’t have all the money in the world to get what we want, and beggars can’t be choosers… but we want a beautiful home, a gorgeous kitchen, a cool bathroom, a relaxing lounge room. So many things to compromise and too few places to choose from.

It will happen soon… I have to be hopeful, otherwise I’ll just burst into tears. Living apart becomes more and more difficult as everyday passes.

The smell of bread baking in the oven often evokes home for many people. I wished I made these beautiful Hot Cross buns in my own house. Then I could have invited my niece and nephews over for an Easter Egg Hunt and a picnic of Hot Cross Buns and chocolate.

I shouldn’t participate in self-pity, it isn’t healthy for me.

Hot Cross Buns Nigella Lawson

Recipe adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson

150ml milk
50g unsalted butter
zest of 1 orange
1 clove
2 cardamom pods
400g bread flour
7g instant dried yeast
125g mixed dried fruit
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 egg

For the crosses on the buns
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoons caster sugar

Hot Cross Buns by Nigella Lawson

1/ Heat the milk, butter, orange zest, clove and cardamom pods in a saucepan until the butter melts, then leave to infuse. When the milk has come to room temperature remove the clove and cardamom pods, and beat in egg.

2/ Measure the flour, yeast and dried fruit into a bowl and add spices. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients.

3/ Knead the dough either by hand or with a machine with a dough hook; if it is too dry add a little more warm milk or water. Keep kneading until the dough is silky and elastic, but bear in mind that the dried fruit will stop this from being exactly satin-smooth.

4/ Form into a ball and place in a buttered bowl covered with clingfilm, and leave to prove overnight in the fridge.

Hot Cross Buns

5/ Take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperaturem about 30 minutes. Punch the dough down, and knead it again until it is smooth and elastic. Divide into 16 balls and shape into smooth round buns.

6/ Sit the buns on a baking parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet. Make sure that they are quite snug together but not touching. Using the back of an ordinary eating knife, score the tops with a cross. Cover with a tea towel, and leave to prove again for about 45 minutes – they should have risen and almost joined up.

7/ Preheat the oven to 220degrees. In a small bowl, beat 1 egg with a little milk. Brush the buns with the egg wash, and then mix the ingredients for the crosses. Using a teaspoon, dribble two lines over the buns in the indent of the cross, and then bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

8/ In a small bowl mix 1 tablespoon of caster sugar with 1 tablespoon of boiling water. When the hot cross buns come out of the oven brush each hot bun to make them sweet and shiny.

Tips from the cookbookmaniac
* I didn’t like the idea of mixed peel. So I substituted with 125g raisins. It worked out fine.
* Cutting the crosses with an eating knife was quite a task. Mid-way through I changed the knife to a meat cleaver and it worked a dream.
* I forgot to glaze the buns with the sugar mixture. I always forget something!
* The buns were yummy, however, the next time I make these I think I might add half a cup of caster sugar to the dough mixture.

Hot Cross Buns Recipe, Hot Cross Buns by Nigella

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  1. Yen@foodforfour

    Yum! I’m sure your house smell wonderful with those hot cross buns baking in the oven.

    Hang in there, you’ll find your dream home soon. We’re house hunting at the moment too and I hate dealing with real estate agents!

  2. Anh

    I love hot cross buns. These are so pretty!

  3. Mark @ Cafe Campana

    An overnight prooving time for the first rise seems very long. I am going to give them an hour so therefore I can have buns sooner rather than later.

  4. Amy @ cookbookmaniac

    Hi Yen, there are some that are really lovely and try to help and then there are others that are just moles.

    Anh, thanks for the compliments!

    Mark, Nigella suggests proving overnight in the fridge as it improves the taste of the yeast. But if you are pinched for time, proving for an hour will have to suffice.

  5. Lisa @ bakebikeblog

    oooh they look great! I am definitely going to make some this Easter πŸ™‚

  6. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    Delicious! All the best with your househunting. I’ve never househunted for somewhere to buy, but I know how frustrating it is when looking for a new rental place and unable to find anything suitable, so I feel your pain. Good luck with it, I hope the hot cross buns give you more energy for it πŸ™‚

  7. chocolatesuze

    that slab of butter is calling to me! and good luck with the house hunting! i absolutely hated it as i too have little to no patience πŸ˜€

  8. yuki

    Hi Amy,
    Thanks for dropping by! Love ur blog layout! It’s adorable
    Yummmm….i should make some too!

  9. Bonnie

    A Cookbook Maniac? Me too! So glad to have found your delicious blog!


  10. April @ My Food Trail

    What beautiful photos! Your hot cross buns look great but too bad I don’t like hot cross buns! πŸ™‚

    Sorry to hear about your unfruitful house hunting. Hang in there and I’m sure you will find something soon. I was looking for a house for quite some time but when I finally found the one I bought, I knew why I was unsucessful with the other houses – I just had to be patient to find the right one!

  11. samiimpossible

    these are the exact same ones im going to attempt on friday! i hope they turn out at least half as good as yours miss, theyre beautiful x

  12. Julia @ MΓ©langer

    Thank you for visiting me! Love your blog, and these hot cross buns. I also especially like your cute fabric! Happy Easter.

  13. grace

    i’m one of those shmucks who truly believe that when the time and situation is right, things will fall into place–keep the faith!
    i’m late to the party, but that doesn’t stop these from being marvelous buns. they’re a good bit more moist than others i’ve seen and eaten and i like that a lot!