Make your own : Hot Cross Buns

by Gael Myers, Accredited Practising Dietitian

Looking for a fun new project? Want to know exactly what's in your food? Welcome to the MYO series, where we look at how to prepare some of your favourite foods from scratch.

 Nothing says Easter quite like biting down into a warm and spicy hot cross bun. What’s even better? Tucking into a homemade bun still hot from the oven!

 While most hot cross bun recipes call for yeast and require a lot of kneading, we’ve come up with a super simple variation that’s easy (and fun!) to make with the kids. They’ll take about 20-30 minutes to prepare, but allow extra time if you’re working with young children.

 Equipment needed

  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper
  • Chopping board and knife
  • Mixing bowl

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 small apples, cored, skin on, finely diced
  • ⅓ cup sultanas
  • 1½ cups low-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup plain flour (for the crosses)

 What to do

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan forced).  

2. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

3. Sift self-raising flour and spices into a medium-sized bowl. Add sugar, apples and sultanas and mix.  

4. Using a fork, stir through yoghurt until incorporated.  

5. Transfer mixture to a lightly floured flat surface; use clean hands to bring together until a sticky dough forms taking care not to over work the mixture. Add a small amount of extra self-raising flour as needed (it will depend on the yoghurt you use). Be careful to not add too much flour, you want the dough to just be workable.

6. Divide into 12 evenly sized dough balls and place on the baking tray. 

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7. Brush each bun with egg wash.  

8. There are a few options for the crosses:

  • Keep it simple with cross-less buns
  • Make up a paste of plain flour and water – you want it to be about the consistency of thick yoghurt. Put the paste in a zip lock bag, push the paste to the bottom corner, and snip a small corner of the bag off with scissors. ‘Pipe’ the paste onto each bun in a cross.
  • Make up a paste of plain flour and water – you want it to be about the consistency of toothpaste (you should be able to just roll it in your hands). Take a small section of the paste and roll it into a long sausage in your hands. The pieces should be about as thick as a chopstick. Lay the pieces in a cross shape on each bun. 

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9. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

10. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely, or serve warm.

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Missing an ingredient? Try these swaps!

  • Egg wash -  a light brush with cow or soy milk
  • Fresh apple - well drained tinned apple, fresh pear
  • Low fat Greek yoghurt - vanilla yoghurt, regular-fat plain yoghurt
  • Cinnamon or mixed spice - nutmeg
  • Sultanas - chopped dates, dried cranberries