Hot Cross Loaf
A take on the traditional hot cross bun
- 250g Plain Flour
- 250g Strong White Bread Flour
- 50g Caster Sugar
- 1 tsp Mixed Spice
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- Zest of 1 Orange
- 75g Unsalted Butter
- 7g Dried Yeast
- 1 Eggs
- 300ml Milk
- 350g Mixed Dried Fruit
- 2 tbsp Apricot Jam
For the Cross
- 2-3 tbsp Milk
- 2 tbsp Plain Flour
This hot cross loaf recipe came around when I was struggling to find something to fit in with my breakfast theme but also suitable for Easter. When I think of Easter food I just I think of roast lamb and chocolate eggs, neither of which are suitable for breakfast.
I remembered buying a hot cross loaf last year and wanted to make one myself. I’m not the biggest fan of spiced or fruit bread or cakes so having a loaf is great because you can slice however much you want at a time. Although legend has it that hot cross buns made on Good Friday will stay fresh throughout the year, this loaf freezes well.
I’d use a bigger loaf tin next time as it kind of bulged on one side so the cross isn’t straight. I think mine is a 1lb tin so I’d use a 2lb one. Also, I just realised while I’m writing this that I forgot to glaze it with apricot jam.
Butter a 2lb loaf tin and line it with baking paper. Put the flour, sugar, orange zest, spices and a teaspoon of salt. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the yeast and make a well in the centre.
Mix the egg and milk together and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until it forms a dough and knead on a floured surface for 10-15 minutes or in a stand mixer for 10 minutes. Put in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Knock the dough back and knead in the dried fruit. Put the dough into the prepared tin and cover with lightly oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise for a further hour.
When he hour is almost up, preheat the oven to 200/180ºc fan. Mix the flour and milk together to make a smooth, thick paste, put in a piping bag and snip off the end. Pipe a line down the middle lengthways and another along the other way. Add two more lines widthways, one either side of the first. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until deep gold and cooked through.
Remove from the oven and heat the apricot jam. Brush it over the top and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm, cooled or toasted.