Hot cross buns recipe

Hot cross buns recipe

Hot cross buns are a favourite treat during the Easter period. Learn how to bake your own with this easy recipe.

Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns / iStock

Easter celebrations are not complete without hot cross buns. So, if you are having guests over or you just want to spoil your family with a nice Easter treat, then these buns are perfect. 

This type of bun is enjoyed thanks to its spicy, sweet, and fruity flavour. You can even add chopped dried apricots, cranberries, cherries or cheese to make them even more delicious. 

What makes the buns distinctive is the important Easter symbol - the cross. To Christians, the cross is a reminder of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection - the main reason for celebrating Easter. The spices used for the buns signify the spices used to embalm him at his burial.

The below recipe, courtesy of Merry boosters, shows how you can make ultra soft and fluffy hot cross buns that have a wonderful aroma of spices. 

READ: For your Easter table: hot cross buns

For the bread: 

All-purpose flour: 325 g (2 and 1/2 cup)

Whole milk: 150 ml (1/2 cup +2 tbsp)

Granulated sugar: 50g or 1/4 cup

Instant yeast: 2 tsp or Active dry yeast :2 1/2 tsp

Cinnamon Powder: 1/2 tsp

Ground All spices: 1/2 tsp

Salt: 3/4 tsp

One Egg

Unsalted butter: 42.5 g or 3 tbsp

Raisins: 3/4 cup or 125 g

Vanilla extract: 1 tsp

Zest of half of an orange.

For the cross

Flour: 1/2 cup

Water: 2 tbsp

For Glaze

2 tablespoons apricot jam

1 tablespoon warm water

You can also use sugar syrup as a glaze. So make the sugar syrup by heating the sugar with the water in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to boil the syrup for about another minute or until syrup thickens very slightly. Set aside.

How to prepare the dough

- Into a bowl, add in all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, yeast, spice powder, and sugar). Whisk them together, so that everything is evenly distributed in the flour. Keep it aside.

- In another bowl, add the milk, egg, and softened unsalted butter.

- Now combine the wet and dry ingredients using a wooden spoon.

- Transfer the dough onto a clean work surface.

- Knead the dough until you get a smooth dough. If you are using a stand mixer then it will be so much easier for you to knead the dough. Use the dough hook attachment and start kneading at low speed and then increase the speed.

- Let the dough sit and rise. In about 1 hour, the dough will double in size.

- After 1 hour, transfer the proofed dough onto a clean work surface.

- Degas the dough and then add in the raisins or currants or any other dried fruits into the dough. Mix them together so that the dry fruits get distributed evenly.

- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.

- After dividing, tuck in the edges towards the center and roll each piece of dough into a round ball. If you see raisins pop out on the surface just push them inside or hide it underneath.

- Place on a parchment lined baking tray or onto a non-stick baking tray.

- Let the rolls puff and rise.

Second proofing

- Cover the rolls with a plastic film so that it won’t get dry and let the rolls sit and proof for 45-60 minutes or until they get doubled in size.

Pipe the cross

- In a small bowl, mix together flour and water until wet paste forms. Transfer runny mixture to a piping bag with a small round tip, or a small zip top plastic bag with a corner snipped off. Pipe straight lines vertically and horizontally across risen buns to create crosses.

- Bake the buns at 190 Degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes. 

- Remove the rolls from the oven and brush the tops with light apricot jam (2 tbsp apricot jam + 1 tbsp warm water) or sugar syrup.


READ: Fun ways to spice up your hot cross buns

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Image courtesy of iStock/ @zi3000

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