The Food Exchange: Wholewheat Hot Cross Buns {Easter bakes}

The days get longer and the daffodils start growing – two definitive signs that Spring is around the corner.
I love those little signs and every time I spot a new one I get a little bit more excited for spring. At the moment it is still quite cold but this weekend I decided to get all the easter decorations out and start celebrating spring.

A big part of spring is Easter and as well prepared as we are 😉 Lucy from the blog lucyabakes and I decided to make Easter this months Food Exchange topic. Like every month, Lucy suggests a typical English bake to me and I suggest a typical German recipe to her. Lucy’s challenge for me was Hot Cross Buns – a true English classic that I have never seen before in Germany.
It is the second time I made them and this year I went for a wholewheat version of the buns.
I have to say I am normally not the biggest fan of these buns but I liked this version very much! I especially love that they are a bit more substantial thanks to the wholemeal.
If you would like to make them as well – I wrote down the recipe for you below :).


Wholemeal hot cross buns from the Simple Things Magazine

Makes 12 buns
– 250g strong white flour
– 200g strong wholemeal flour
– 1 tsp salt
– 3 tsp mixed spice
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 4 tsp easy easy bake yeast
– 50g golden caster sugar
– 110g currants
– 50g candied peel
– 50g butter, room temperature
– 150ml hand-hot milk
– 75ml hand-hot water
– 1 egg, beaten

For the crosses
– 75g plain flour
– 5 tbsp water

For the glaze
– 3 tbsp apricot jam

1) Sieve the flours, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl and add the yeast, sugar, currants and peel.
2) Give it a quick stir, then make a well in the centre and drop in the butter, followed by the warmed milk and water, and the egg. Mix well with a wooden spoon and then go in with your hands and knead, adding a little more milk if the mix feels too dry.
3) Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for around two hours, or until it has doubled in size.
4) Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it briefly again, then divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each into a bun shape in your hands and place onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment, leaving space for each to rise.  Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for a further 45 mins or so, until doubled again.
5) Heat the oven to 220 degrees while you make the crosses. Mix the flour and the water to a thick paste, spoon into a piping bag and pipe on the crosses. Bake for around 15 minutes.
6) Meanwhile, heat the apricot jam in a small pan and then sieve it to remove pieces or fruit. Remove the buns from the oven, place on a wire cooling rack, and paint immediately with the glaze. Allow to cool a little before eating.


After I made them I gave the strict order that eating them was forbidden until I had taken the pictures for the blog. After I had taken the pictures I left the kitchen for a couple of hours – and when I came back they were ALL gone. All that was left was an empty plate on the kitchen table. I assume that means that they were tasty ;).
I only had one problem with the bake (and I keep having this issues with hot cross buns): the cross on the top never seems to be really soft. It is always quite hard. If anyone has an idea how to solve this, it would be great if you could leave a comment :). I spoke to Lucy and she has had similar issues in the past but we couldn’t really figure out what the problem is.

Thanks Lucy for another great inspiration! I can’t wait to have a look at your blog now {}!
And if you would like to read more about our monthly Food Exchange: have a look here where you can see all our posts we have done so far.



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