Penny is a professional recipe writer and food stylist who loves to cook so created us this variation on a traditional Hot Cross Bun, it’s deliciously cheesy and makes a great treat especially. The smoked paprika gives the buns a lovely colour and a little hot pop in the mouth!
1. Combine the flour, mustard, paprika (if using), thyme, salt, yeast and 150g of the cheese in a large bowl. Gradually add the water (you may not need it all) and bring the mix together to form a soft dough.
2. Dust a clean work surface with flour, tip the dough out and knead for around 10 minutes until it is soft and stretchy. Return to the bowl, cover with a clean cloth, and set aside in a warm place to prove and double in size.
3. Re-dust the work surface with flour, tip out the dough and gently knead for a minute to knock out some of the air. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into rounds. Place on a lightly greased baking tray, cover with a cloth and set aside for a second proving, around an hour until almost doubled.
4. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Use a sharp knife to make a cross on top of each bun then brush with melted butter. Combine the remaining cheese with any remaining butter and use to fill the crosses on the buns. Bake for around 25 minutes until golden. A gentle knock on the base of the bun should sound hollow when cooked. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter or cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.