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Are you mad about baking? If so, welcome to the new article series for foodies.

We've teamed up with to bring you delectable desserts and bakery goodness in the form of simple, easy to follow recipes.

California Prune and Orange Hot Cross Buns by Peter Sidwell

Put a twist on a traditional Easter bake with these Prune and Orange Hot Cross Buns from Peter Sidwell. With hints of spices, cardamom and green tea this will definitely be a change from the normal Easter offering. These buns are best enjoyed warm from the oven and smoothered in soft creamy butter.

California Prune and Orange Hot Cross Buns
Total Time: 1 HR 25 MINS
Prep time: 1 HR
Bake Time: 25 MINS
Skill Level: EASY


For the buns

  • 250g Strong White Bread Flour (we like Allinson)
  • 250g Wholemeal Bread Flour (We Like Allinson)
  • 150ml Milk (Whole)
  • 200ml Green Tea (using 2 green tea bags)
  • 7g Easy Bake Yeast Sachet (we like Allinson)
  • 1½ tsp Salt
  • 140g California Prunes (finely chopped)
  • 50g Candied Orange Peel (finely chopped)
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Cardamom Pods (Seeds only, lightly crushed in pestle & mortar)

For the topping

  • 1 Egg (for the glaze)
  • 75g Plain White Flour
  • 3 tbsp Water
  • 2 tbsp Runny Honey (to glaze)

The Method

  1. Mix together the flour, yeast and salt. Make a well in the bottom of the bowl and pour in the milk and green tea.

  2. Using your hand or a dough hook on a stand mixer bring the wet and dry ingredients together to form a ball of dough. Knead on the work surface or in the mixer to develop the gluten. Work the dough for a good 10 minutes at least in order for it to be smooth and stretchy and ready for proving.

  3. Cover the bowl and leave to prove to double in size.

  4. Scoop out the dough and stretch over the work surface until it is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. Sprinkle the spices and scatter the fruit over the dough.

  5. Fold the dough over itself to encase the spice and fruit then knead the dough to distribute the spice and fruit through it.

  6. This quantity of dough will make 6 large Hot Cross Buns or 10 small ones. Portion off the dough and roll into balls. Put the dough balls onto a floured baking tray to prove again, 1 - 2 cm apart so that as they prove up they start to touch each other.

  7. Leave to double in size again and pre-heat your oven to 185oC (gas mark 4).

  8. Brush the buns with beaten egg and a pastry brush.

  9. Make up a paste of the flour and water, and put into a piping bag. Snip off the end of the bag, always make a smaller hole than you think you need to because the paste will spread as the buns bake in the oven.

  10. Pipe a cross onto each bun and then bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven.

  11. Glaze with runny honey after the buns have come out of the oven and cooled for 10 minutes.

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