Peter Sidwell’s prune and orange hot cross buns

Peter Sidwell’s prune and orange hot cross buns
  • Serves icon Makes 6 larger buns or 10 smaller buns
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour 10 min, oven-time 25 minutes, plus 2 hours proving

There’s nothing like a hot cross bun toasted and slathered with butter. The rich flavour and soft texture of California Prunes married with a zing of candied orange is a wonderful combination. We’ve adapted TV chef Peter Sidwell’s recipe slightly, adding a touch of sugar and butter. For a healthier, lighter version, leave both out – the recipe will still work as the prunes give sweetness.


For the buns

  • 25g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 500g strong flour (50% wholemeal, 50% white), plus extra white flour for dusting
  • 7g yeast
  • 7g salt
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 150ml milk
  • 50ml water
  • 200ml green tea (made using 2 green tea teabags and left to infuse for 5 minutes)
  • 140g California Prunes, finely chopped
  • 50g candied orange peel, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cardamom pods (seeds only, lightly crushed in a pestle and mortar – or you can use the end of a rolling pin)

For the crosses and glazing

  • 1 egg, beaten, for glazing
  • 75g flour
  • 4-5 tbsp water
  • Runny honey to glaze

You’ll also need…

  • A plastic piping bag


  1. Remove the bowl from your stand mixer, then add the butter and flour. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips to form fine breadcrumbs. Add the yeast, salt and sugar, then give it a stir to combine everything together.
  2. In a large jug, mix together the milk, water and green tea (the mixture should be warm from the heat of the tea), then make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the combined liquid. Put the mixing bowl back on the stand mixer, then use the dough hook to bring the wet and dry ingredients together to form a ball of dough. If the dough appears too dry, add a little extra water to bring together.
  3. Knead the dough in the mixer for a good 10 minutes to develop the gluten in the flour – it’s ready for rising when it’s smooth and stretchy. Cover the bowl with cling film (don’t let it touch the surface of the dough) and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for roughly an hour until doubled in size.
  4. Meanwhile, chop the fruit and measure the spices. Scoop the risen dough out of the bowl and stretch it over the work surface until it’s about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. Sprinkle the spices and scatter the fruit over the dough. Fold the dough over on itself to encase the spice and fruit, then knead gently to distribute the spice and fruit throughout the dough. Don’t over-work it at this stage.
  5. Portion off the dough and, on a lightly floured surface, roll into balls – either 6 large ones or 10 smaller ones. Put the dough balls on a floured baking tray, 1-2 cm apart, so that as they expand and prove the buns start to touch each other. Leave in a warm place for about an hour until doubled in size again.
  6. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the buns with beaten egg.
  7. To make the crosses, make a smooth paste with the flour and water (add 4tbsp first and only add the rest if you think it needs it). Put into a plastic piping bag and snip off the end of the bag (make a smaller hole than you think you need to because the paste will spread as the buns bake). Pipe a cross onto each bun, then bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven.
  8. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then glaze with runny honey (brush it on). Leave to cool completely.

delicious. tips

  1. A bit about Peter: He’s a TV chef, baker and author of five cookbooks, as well as being the founder of Simply Good Food TV and brand ambassador for California Prunes. He’s presented TV shows including ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery and Channel 4’s Lakes on a Plate.


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