Edd Kimber’s maple, bacon and fig hot cross buns recipe

One of my favourite ways to eat a hot cross bun is toasted and served as a bacon sandwich. With these, the bacon is baked into the buns with dried figs for a wonderful sweet-and-salty twist.

maple, bacon and fig hot cross buns
Nassima Rothacker

MAKES 12

500g white bread flour
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
25g caster sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
7g fast-action dried yeast
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp maple syrup, plus extra for brushing
265ml whole milk
1 large egg, plus 1 for egg wash
6 slices streaky bacon, cooked until crisp
100g dried figs, diced

FOR THE CROSSES
50g plain flour
50ml-70ml whole milk

  1. Put the flour, spices, sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl and stir together. In a small saucepan heat the butter until melted. Pour in the maple syrup and the milk and stir to combine. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture, plus one egg, stirring to form a shaggy dough.
  2. If you have a stand mixer, knead this dough on low for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. If working by hand, tip the dough out on to the worksurface and knead for 10-15 minutes. Cover the dough and set aside for 10 minutes to allow it to relax.
  3. Chop the bacon into small pieces and mix with the diced figs. Press the dough into a flat rectangle, stretching it as thinly as you can get it, then scatter over the date mixture, covering the dough evenly. Fold the dough in three, almost like folding a letter, then roll it up from the short side (this helps distribute the fig and bacon pieces evenly). Place the dough in a bowl and cover, setting aside until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes.
  4. When doubled in size, tip out the dough on to the worksurface and cut into 12 equal-sized pieces. Then roll each piece into a neat ball and place them on a parchment-lined baking tray in four rows of three, spacing slightly apart from each other. Cover the buns and set aside for another hour or until proved (almost doubled in size and the buns are touching one another).
  5. When the buns are almost proved, preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  6. Lightly beat the remaining egg and brush over the buns. To make the cross, mix the flour and milk to form a thick but pipeable paste. Scrape this into a piping bag and cut off the tip to make a small opening. Pipe a cross on to each bun.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden. Remove the buns from the oven and, while still hot, brush with the maple syrup. Set aside to cool before serving.
  8. These will keep for up to three days in a sealed container but can also be split and toasted up to a week after baking. The buns will also freeze brilliantly for up to a month.

Follow Edd of Instagram and TikTok @theboywhobakes.