zoom Martha Collison's cranberry, pecan & honey hot cross buns

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    Martha Collison's cranberry, pecan & honey hot cross buns

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    Martha Collison's cranberry, pecan & honey hot cross buns

    The hot cross bun is a great base for experimentation, and I think this variation is a winner!
     

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 45 minutes + proving time
    • Cooking time: 15 minutes to 20 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes + proving time

    Makes: 10 buns

    Ingredients

    250ml whole milk
    50g butter
    50g clear honey, plus 2 tbsp for glazing
    1 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Egg
    500g strong white bread flour
    50g caster sugar
    10g salt
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    10g fast-action yeast
    150g dried cranberries, chopped
    50g pecan nuts, chopped
    Oil, for greasing
    50g plain flour
     

    Method

    1. Place the milk, butter and honey into a saucepan and gently warm through until the butter has melted. Set to one side to cool to room temperature, then beat in the egg.

    2. Put the bread flour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar, salt and cinnamon to one side of the bowl, and the yeast to the other. Using the dough hook on medium speed, slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the flour and knead for 4-5 minutes, or until a smooth and elastic dough has formed. You might not need to add all the milk or you might need a splash more to clean any floury patches from the inside of the bowl. Add the cranberries and pecan nuts and knead until combined.

    3. When the dough feels soft and silky, place it in a lightly oiled bowl and leave to rise for at least 1 hour or until at least doubled in size. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.

    4. Tip the risen dough onto a work surface and fold it repeatedly over itself to knock out any large pockets of air. Divide the dough into 10 pieces and use a cupped hand to roll them into balls. Evenly space the dough on the prepared baking trays, leaving enough room for them to double in size. Cover and leave for 1 hour or until the buns are noticeably larger. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6.

    5. For the crosses, mix the plain flour with a few teaspoons of water to make a loose paste. Transfer the paste into a piping bag and pipe a thin line in a cross shape over each bun. Bake the buns in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown all over. While the buns are still hot, use a pastry brush to paint honey all over the tops. Enjoy warm or cold, also delicious toasted.

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