Wednesday 27 March 2013

Lovely Hot Cross Buns for Easter

Baking up a batch of Hot Cross Buns is one of our family's favourite seasonal treats. Often disappointed by the supermarket product, these buns have a far more generous amount of fruit and spices. You don't have to include the crosses; however it doesn't take long and they add the seasonal finishing touch to the buns.

Little Miss 4 is such a generous and caring little button. After we took some buns to Preschool to share with her teachers, she wanted 'my buddies to try the Hot Cross Buns'. So back home we went to bake another batch.

I adapted these from an old Alison Holst recipe. You can vary the type of fruit and spices depending on whats in the pantry. Any combination of sultanas, currents, raisins or even cranberries will do the trick nicely.

Hot Cross Buns

1 cup milk
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups high-grade flour
100g butter
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups dried mixed fruit
approx 3 cups high grade flour

For the crosses
60g cold butter
1 cup flour
a little milk for glazing

For the glaze
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon warm water

Measure the milk, hot water and sugar into a large bowel. Stir to dissolve the sugar and allow to cool to blood temperature, then sprinkle on the yeast granules. Stir to mix, then mix in the first measure of flour. A whisk is quite useful to remove any lumps. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set into a sink of warm water until the mixture has at least doubled in size.
Prepare the dried fruit by putting it into a bowl and covering with boiling water. Stir and leave for about 5 minutes to plump up. Drain and rinse, then leave in the sieve to drain. 

In another bowl cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in the spices, salt and egg.

Turn the oven to bake on its lowest temperature setting. It should feel warm but not hot.

Once the yeast mixture has sufficiently risen, add the butter mix, fruit and second measure of flour to the bowl. Stir until blended.

Continue to stir until the mixture starts to become more elastic. Turn out onto a floured bench and knead.

The mixture will be sticky and difficult to work with in the beginning. Add more flour to the bench if required, and continue to knead until the dough feel satiny and springs back when pressed.

Cut the dough into four equal sized pieces. Cover the dough pieces with plastic wrap while you work on shaping the buns, as it shouldn't be allowed to dry out. 

Grease or spray a couple of baking tins ready to receive the buns. Cut each dough quarter into 6 pieces and roll each bun between your hand and the bench until it forms a neat round. Pop the buns into the tin, leaving gaps between them to allow for rising. 

Once full, cover the trays with plastic wrap that has been greased and sprinkled with a little water. Place into the warm oven to rise. Put a small stainless steel bowl of water into the bottom of the oven to provide some steam. The buns should rise until they are twice the original size and have filled the gaps in the tin.

While the buns are rising, prepare the dough for the crosses. Rub the butter into the flour, then add a little water to form a stiff dough. Roll out between two pieces of plastic wrap. 

Once the buns have risen take them from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 225deg. C. Cut the cross dough into strips, brush the buns with a little milk and place the strips onto the unbaking buns.

Bake uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes until brown. Tap on the top of the buns, they should sound hollow once baked. Gently turn the buns out onto a tea towel and flip over into a cooling rake.

Mix the golden syrup and hot water and brush on the cooked buns to glaze.

These buns are best served warm. They don't have any preservatives so don't keep for very long and are best served soon after being baked.

So call up your friends and get them round for a coffee and a tasty Easter treat.

Little Miss 4 was so excited to take her buns to Preschool for her buddies to try. We are always looking for opportunities for her to share things with others, and food is always a perfect opportunity. Happy little girl. 


  1. This is a really different recipe to what I make. The rising and assembly is more like a sourdough. I am going to try this as they look delicious. I have just started following you on bloglovin. Really good to see other Kiwi Mum's blogging. Cheers Karen

  2. Thanks so much. I really enjoy following your blog. I joined bloglovin after reading your post, so thanks for the prompt. This recipe always delivers. I make it year after year. Let me know how you get on with it.