Hot Cross Tea Loaf



200g/7oz wholemeal flour

200g/7oz plain flour

100g/4oz rolled oats

200ml/7 fl oz cool, brewed tea

200ml/7 fl oz orange juice (from a carton is fine)

150g/ 6oz sultanas (or dried fruit mix of your choice)

2tsp mixed spice

1tsp cinnamon

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

Recipe Summary

Hot cross buns are one of my (Kate Lawson) absolute favourites, and I’m secretly thrilled that shops now sell them all year round. However, they are not at all easy to make if you have arthritis and can be laden with extra sugar and fat (especially if you slather them with butter). I’ve come up with a much quicker, healthier, no-knead tea bread that has all the flavour of hot cross buns whilst being Conquest Diet friendly. It’s a simple fruited soda bread that you can mix up in minutes.

The wholemeal flour, oats and dried fruit all provide fibre. Fibre is not only important for your digestive system – it also helps keep your heart healthy, can decrease your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes and it fills you up, which is useful if you are trying to keep an eye on your weight to help your arthritis. Everyone should aim to get around 18g of fibre a day, but most people in the UK only get around 14g.  I’ve included some plain, white flour to lighten the loaf a little, but if you prefer you can use all wholemeal, just be warned that the bread will be quite dense.

A few quick tips on the mixing – bring the dough together in as few stirs as possible to keep it light (and so you don’t hurt your hand joints). I find it easiest to oil my hands and then scoop the dough out, that way it doesn’t stick, or you can use a dough scraper.


Preheat the oven to 200C/400f and lightly grease a baking tray with sunflower oil or a non stick liner.

Put the flours, oats, dried fruit, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and sultanas in a large bowl and stir until evenly mixed.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour into it the tea and orange juice.

Gently stir the wet and dry ingredients together until you get a sticky dough. Scoop the dough out of the bowl with your hands and form it into a rough ball.

Place the dough on a greased baking sheet and flatten it out slightly to form a circular loaf shape. Using a large knife, score a deep cross in it.

Bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes or until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Information
Nutritional values for 1 serving (based on 12 slices) 
Energy129 kcal
Total fat0.6g
Saturated fat0.01g

FFQ Information
Food GroupFood item
Bread & CrispbreadsWholemeal bread and rolls

This wholemeal loaf can be cut in 12 slices. Remember 2 slices is equal to a serving.