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Sainsbury's magazine

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Hot cross bun loaf

  • Serves 12
  • Prep 30 mins
  • Total time 1 hr 20 mins, plus rising
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Hot cross bun loaf
Hot cross bun loaf

step by step

  • 1Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the spices, yeast, caster sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix together well.
  • 2Measure 75ml boiling water into a jug and add the milk, which will give a tepid liquid that isn't too hot for the yeast. Add the melted butter and egg to this liquid, then pour into the flour mixture and bring together as a dough. You want it to be soft but not too sticky.
  • This giant hot cross bun loaf is a great alternative to individual rolls; it's especially good for slicing and toasting, which enhances the spiced flavour.
  • 3Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and springy (or knead for 5 minutes on a low speed in a mixer with a dough hook). Knead in the dried fruit until evenly distributed.
  • 4Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1½ – 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  • 5Punch the dough down to knock it back, then shape it into a round. Pop in a well-greased 20cm springform tin (about 6cm deep) and poke any bits of fruit that are sticking out back into the dough, so they don't burn. Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for 30 minutes or until well risen above the top of the tin (roughly doubled in size). It should feel soft and pillowy when prodded gently. While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
  • 6Mix the plain flour with a tiny pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons cold water to give a paste with a good piping consistency. Transfer to a disposable piping bag (or a plastic food bag) and snip off a 1cm opening. Pipe a cross on top of the loaf. Bake the loaf for 40 minutes, then remove from the tin and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the base sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
  • 7To glaze, heat the granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon water until dissolved. Brush over the cooled loaf.
  • Recipe photograph by Tara Fisher

Get ahead

The baked loaf will keep for 2-3 days (it's best to serve it toasted after the first day), or it can be sliced and frozen.

You will need

  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • a good grating of whole nutmeg
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 60g butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 x 75g pack dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • 40g chopped mixed peel
  • 40g currants
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

+ Nutritional Information