Hot Cross Bun Crown

Hot Cross Bun Crown-2203

Hot Cross Bun Crown

This fruited bread crown will make a gorgeous breakfast centrepiece this Easter, fill it with chocolate eggs or maybe even a jar of Nutella!

Soft, lightly spiced bread, full of juicy fruit that tastes amazing generously spread with butter. I bloomin’ love Hot Cross Buns, and this crown is a celebration of that love: to the king of Easter baking tradition!

Hot Cross Bun Crown-2214I’ve simply used my go-to Hot Cross Bun dough (with an additional teaspoon of ground cardamom, because I’m putting it in everything these days: how Nordic!) and instead of making buns I’ve plaited the dough and turned it into a ring.

Rather than piping crosses I used the paste to highlight the plaiting: the crown still looks Hot Cross Bun-like, albeit a little more regal.

Hot Cross Bun Crown-2218I’ve had this crown-idea in my head for about a couple of weeks, frustratingly it’s taken me this long to make it. I didn’t have a big enough baking tray where I was staying last week, down at my brother’s place.

Now I’m up in Scotland, and woohoo, there’s a big baking sheet in this house! I popped into town for some chocolate eggs for the ‘photoshoot’ and I’m greedily munching on them now while I type this up!

Hot Cross Bun Crown-2206

Hot Cross Bun Crown

By all means, make the dough in a bread machine or food mixer for an even easier bake. Making it by hand lets you infuse the dough with love though.

  • 225 g (1 + 4/5 cups) plain flour
  • 225 g (1 + 4/5 cups) strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • some freshly grated nutmeg
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 7 g sachet of easy-blend dry yeast
  • 75 g (1/2 cup) sultanas or raisins
  • 150 ml warm water
  • 50 ml (1/5 cup) milk
  • 50 g (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten

Sift the flours into a large bowl, add the yeast, spices, sugar and salt then use a whisk or your hands to combine them.

Sprinkle over the sultanas and give it another quick mix.

Combine the water, milk, melted butter and beaten egg and add most of it to the dry ingredients

Use your hands to mix everything together, add the rest of the milk/water/butter/egg mixture if it’s too dry. It should come away from the sides of the bowl. Add a spot more cold milk if it still needs it.

Place the dough on a clean work surface then knead the dough for about 6 minutes until smooth and elastic. Put a dot of oil into a clean bowl and roll the dough in it to coat.

Cover with cling film or a damp tea towel then leave in a warm place for around 1 hour for it to prove and double in size.

To make the Hot Cross Bun Crown
  • 50 g (2/5 cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 60 – 70 ml cold water

Preheat the oven to 200º C / gas 6 / 400º F and lightly grease a baking sheet.

Once the dough has proved knock it back down with your fist, remove from the bowl and give it a very brief knead to take it back to its original size.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll them into three long thin sausages of the same length.

Hot Cross Bun Crown-2192Plait the dough ropes then form a crown by connecting the two ends by intertwining the loose dough strands.

Arrange onto the baking sheet into a neat circle and cover loosely with cling film. Set aside in a draft-free place for a second prove for about half an hour.

While you wait, prepare the hot cross bun paste by combining the flour, sugar and water into a thick but pourable paste. Add just enough water to the flour to stop it being glue-like.

Put the flour paste into a piping bag or tube fitted with a small nozzle. A cone of parchment or a plastic freezer bag with the corner snipped will do a similar job.

Pipe the paste across the links of the plait.

After half an hour the plaited crown should have plumped up nicely.

Bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes, until risen and beautifully golden. It should sound hollow when tapped underneath.

While the buns are baking, make the glaze
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Put the water and sugar into a small pan and gently bring to the boil, the sugar will dissolve and the liquid become a little syrupy. Once it starts to bubble, remove from the heat.

As soon as the crown is taken out of the oven, brush the sugary glaze over it with a pastry brush, it will gleam!

Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Although crown is best eaten fresh, it is awesome split and toasted the next day. So much so, I can’t wait for tomorrow’s breakfast!

Hot Cross Bun Crown

Hot Cross Bun Crown
Hot Cross Bun in crown-form, fill it with Easter chocolates!
Print
For the Dough
  1. 225 g (1 + 4/5 cups) plain flour
  2. 225 g (1 + 4/5 cups) strong white bread flour
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 1 tsp mixed spice
  5. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  7. some freshly grated nutmeg
  8. 50 g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  9. 7 g sachet of easy-blend dry yeast
  10. 75 g (1/2 cup) sultanas or raisins
  11. 150 ml warm water
  12. 50 ml (1/5 cup) milk
  13. 50 g (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  14. 1 free-range egg, beaten
For the Paste
  1. 50 g (2/5 cup) plain flour
  2. 1 tsp caster sugar
  3. 60 – 70 ml cold water
For the Glaze
  1. 2 tbsp water
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
Instructions
  1. Sift the flours into a large bowl, add the yeast, spices, sugar and salt then use a whisk or your hands to combine them.
  2. Sprinkle over the sultanas and give it another quick mix.
  3. Combine the water, milk, melted butter and beaten egg and add most of it to the dry ingredients
  4. Use your hands to mix everything together, add the rest of the milk/water/butter/egg mixture if it’s too dry. It should come away from the sides of the bowl. Add a spot more cold milk if it still needs it.
  5. Place the dough on a clean work surface then knead the dough for about 6 minutes until smooth and elastic. Put a dot of oil into a clean bowl and roll the dough in it to coat.
  6. Cover with cling film or a damp tea towel then leave in a warm place for around 1 hour for it to prove and double in size.
Preheat the oven to 200º C / gas 6 / 400º F and lightly grease a baking sheet
  1. Once the dough has proved knock it back down with your fist, remove from the bowl and give it a very brief knead to take it back to its original size.
  2. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll them into three long thin sausages of the same length.
  3. Plait the dough ropes then form a crown by connecting the two ends by intertwining the loose dough strands.
  4. Arrange onto the baking sheet into a neat circle and cover loosely with cling film. Set aside in a draft-free place for a second prove for about half an hour.
  5. While you wait, prepare the hot cross bun paste by combining the flour, sugar and water into a thick but pourable paste. Add just enough water to the flour to stop it being glue-like.
  6. Put the flour paste into a piping bag or tube fitted with a small nozzle. A cone of parchment or a plastic freezer bag with the corner snipped will do a similar job.
  7. Pipe the paste across the links of the plait.
  8. After half an hour the plaited crown should have plumped up nicely.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes, until risen and beautifully golden. It should sound hollow when tapped underneath.
  10. To make the glaze: put the water and sugar into a small pan and gently bring to the boil, the sugar will dissolve and the liquid become a little syrupy. Once it starts to bubble, remove from the heat.
  11. As soon as the crown is taken out of the oven, brush the sugary glaze over it with a pastry brush, it will gleam!
  12. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.
Vagabond Baker http://vagabondbaker.com/
By Rachel A Davis

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10 Responses

  1. In a word AWESOME the sort of HCB my wife would love me forever for making :) I think I might just give this a go.
    Anita-Clare Field recently posted…Meat Free Monday : Chia, Date and Cashew Muesli BarsMy Profile

    • Rachel Davis says:

      Brilliant eh! I bloody love HTB, and I’m fairly purist with them if I’m honest, I don’t need a chocolate one! But plaiting the dough took no longer than forming buns so it’s a little variation on something that is already perfect :)

  2. Simply love this, what a fab idea and it looks amazing!
    Lucy @ BakingQueen74 recently posted…Slow Cooker Raspberry BrowniesMy Profile

  3. This looks brilliant! I’m definitely going to give it a go, although I know that I’ll never be able to get my plaits that neat!

    • Rachel Davis says:

      I bet your plaits are neat, they’re pretty easy but it doesn’t really matter if they aren’t neat. Rustic is the look we’re going for here! Happy baking! :)

  4. Jennie says:

    What a beautiful bake! I love the way you’ve still incorporated the paste so it really does look like hot cross buns.
    I haven’t had a hot cross bun yet this year, i’ve seen them in the shops but i’m holding out until I get chance to make my own. They always taste so much better don’t they!
    Jennie x
    Jennie recently posted…Funny Face Shortbread Biscuits {for Comic Relief}My Profile

    • Rachel Davis says:

      Thanks Jennie! I couldn’t leave the paste out and I’m so glad to have included it, it makes the plaits look so pretty! It worked better than I thought it would :)

  5. Ah Rachel this looks so, so good! I love hot cross buns so much, this is right up my street! Also I’m very much a ‘knead it by hand and knead in the love’ girl! Something satisfying about kneading dough with your bare hands!
    Sus @ roughmeasures.com recently posted…Sugar Free Blood Orange CakeMy Profile

    • Rachel Davis says:

      I get excited by Lent every year, not to give up something, no! To gorge on Hot Cross Buns, four weeks of fruity bread gluttony!
      I do enjoy kneading, I’d love a big robust mixer that could take over when I’m pushed for time or feeling weak though 😉

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