Share some hot cross bun fun with the kids this Easter

An easy recipe that makes holiday home-baking child's play

by Should the weather over the Easter school break be less spectacular than during these last few weeks, you'll find cooking can be a fun way to keep the kids entertained on a rainy day.

Baking is a particularly good culinary activity to attempt with children. There’s something magically alchemist-like about turning flour, water and yeast into a delicious, highly edible final product. And the removal of the hot bread, bun or cake from the oven is definitely a high point, perhaps beaten only by the joy of tearing apart the fragrant results and smearing them with butter.

This recipe comes from David Hall – father, cook and Masterchef finalist – who recently picked up a best reader recipe Observer Food Award. No mean feat considering Nigel Slater and restaurant critic Jay Rayner were judging.

David’s four-year-old daughter Cerys always plays a part in his cooking, cropping up in photos holding their latest creation.

For more of David’s wonderful recipes, visit

Chocolate and orange hot cross buns (Makes 10-12)

  • 1 tbsp dried yeast
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 200ml warm water
  • 500g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g sultanas
  • Zest of one orange, finely grated
  • Half an Easter egg, roughly chopped (around 100g chocolate)
  • 25g melted butter
  • 100ml warm milk
  • 1 egg


Mix the yeast,1 tbs honey and water and leave for 5-10 minutes in a warm place until misture forms a froth and starts to smell. Sieve flour into a large mixing bowl. Stir in salt, spice, sultanas, orange zest and chocolate egg.

Pour in yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Mix egg with milk and add along with melted butter and the remaining honey, mixing thoroughly. Mix until it comes together into a dough, which may call for a drop more milk.

Tip onto a floured surface and knead for five minutes until a hand indentation pressed into the surface springs back straight away.

Put back into bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for an hour or so until it has doubled in size. Pre-heat oven to 200 °C.

When it's doubled in size, lightly knead again to get rid of air. Roll out into a sausage and cut off 10-12 portions. Roll these into balls and place onto a greased and floured baking tray. Cut crosses into top with a sharp knife then cover again and leave until they double in size again.

Place into a high oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and make a hollow sound when tapped. Once cooled, mix a little sugar and water together over heat and brush onto the top to make a sugar glaze.

Latest comments

Please note, all comments are those of readers and do not represent the opinion of reserves the right to remove comments it considers offensive or not relevant
Please focus on the topic

To comment you must be registered at

Log in to comment