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How to make a delicious hot cross bun loaf

A twist on our delicious Easter hot cross buns, this fluffy fruity loaf is perfect eaten freshly baked, or sliced and toasted with lashings of butter for breakfast!

Blueberry, citrus & white chocolate hot cross bun loaf


195ml/7fl oz whole milk

50g/1½ oz unsalted butter

450g/1 lb strong white bread flour,

plus extra for dusting

7g sachet fast-action yeast

1 tsp salt

1½ tsp ground cinnamon

1½ tsp ground mixed spice

50g/1½ oz soft brown sugar

1 large egg, beaten

100g/3½ oz dried blueberries

60g/2oz mixed peel

50g/1½ oz white chocolate drops

Olive oil, for greasing

For the cross

2 tbsp plain flour

For the glaze

3 tbsp caster sugar

  1. Lightly grease the loaf tin with a little olive oil and line with baking parchment so that it overhangs the edges.
  2. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and add the butter. Heat on a medium heat until the butter has melted, then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, salt, spices and sugar together and make a well in the centre. Add the beaten egg gradually, then add the milk, bringing all the ingredients together with a round-bladed knife until the mixture forms a rough ball. Or you can mix this in a stand mixer using the dough hook.
  4. Tip the dough onto your worktop and knead until smooth and elastic. Put it into a large bowl, lightly greased. Cover with a clean damp tea towel and leave for 1½–2 hours to double in size.
  5. When dough has risen, tip it onto a lightly floured worktop and shape it into a rough rectangle shape with your hands. Scatter over the blueberries, mixed peel and chocolate drops, then knead the dough to evenly distribute the fruits.
  6. Weigh the dough and divide into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into an oblong shape, tucking the seam underneath. Lay the pieces side by side in the tin and cover with a clean damp tea towel for around an hour or until the dough is risen and slowly springs back when you prod it gently.
  7. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan oven) Gas 7.
  8. For the cross, mix the flour with enough water to make a thick paste by gradually adding a tablespoon of water at a time. Pop it in a small piping bag and snip off the end. Make one long line running lengthways across the buns, then pipe lines the other way to create a cross on each bun.
  9. Bake for 25–30 minutes until golden brown. The loaf should sound hollow when you tap its underside. Remove from oven and, using the overhanging parchment, gently lift the loaf from the tin and place on acooling  rack to cool.
  10. For the sugar glaze, mix the sugar with 1 tbsp water and, while the loaf is still warm, brush the sugary mixture all over with a pastry brush. Leave to cool, then slice and enjoy!



Don’t discard any slices of stale loaf; turn them into bread and butter pudding, breadcrumbs or even French toast! Instead of using a tea towel to cover your rising dough, stretch a shower cap over the bowl.