These are perfect for Easter, why not give them a go?

Ingredients:

  • 250ml Baked Milk Kefir
  • 30ml water
  • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 60g soft unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ground sweet mixed spice*
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 120g sultanas or raisins

Top Decoration:

  • 50g plain flour
  • 40g water
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • apricot jam for glazing

*You can make your own sweet mixed spice with ingredients below.

  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon

Instructions:

In a small bowl, combine the sultanas or raisins with 1 cup of boiling hot water. Let it sit for 10 mins then drain well and set aside.

In a cup, combine very warm water with a pinch of sugar and a pinch of flour, sprinkle yeast over the top. Stir and let sit at room temp until bubbly and doubled in volume (10 min).

Add the Baked Milk Kefir, warm water, egg, sugar bowl and mix well.

Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add 1 teaspoon of sea salt, the ground sweet mixed spice, the sugar, orange zest and stir it into the mix.

Make a hole in the centre and pour in the Kefir mixture, followed by the yeast mixture and soft unsalted butter, mix together. Use a wooden spoon to stir, then turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes until soft and springy. Carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined. Knead lightly for 2 minutes.

Return the dough to a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to proof in a warm place for at least 2 hours or until doubled in volume.

Line a 31.5 x 23.5 cm / 9 x 13″ tray with baking paper with overhang.

Transfer the dough to a clean flour dusted work surface. Knock the air out by bashing it with your fist. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball.

Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Line them up 3 x 4.

Cover with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further 1 hour, or until triple in size.

Place the plain flour, 40ml water and 1 tsp vegetable oil into a small bowl and mix to a thick paste.

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

When the buns have risen, take the baking paper and the piping bag. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.

Kefir Hot Cross Buns

Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 16-19 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot apricot jam, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.

A big thank you to Ekaterina Nikolaeva for creating this delicious recipe!