Homemade Hot Cross Buns

5 Apr

Religious holidays always make me think of home (as I live 20,000 km away) and Easter is no exception.  Good Friday was always breakfast at Mum’s house and Hot Cross Buns was on the menu.  I love Hot Cross Buns and so do the rest of my family.  It’s the one time that you can add butter as thick as cheese slices and not feel guilty.  Well I do anyway.

My sister eats her Hot Cross Buns in a very amusing and time-consuming way.  She hates sultanas and so she painstakingly picks all the sultanas out.  What a mission.  That’s called dedication.

I’ll be travelling to the coast with a few friends this year and decided to bake Hot Cross Buns for the trip.  They are a little time-consuming, but I’ve already sampled one (okay, two) and I am happy to say that they are soooo much better than the bought versions.  Also, if you have a sultana-hater in the family, you can always omit these in a few buns to keep them happy!

This recipe makes 16 buns

For the Buns:
680 gr strong white flour
14 gr dried yeast (2 sachets)
10 gr salt 
100 gr light brown, very fine sugar
80 gr unsalted butter, very soft
15 gr mixed spice (spice mix including cassia, coriander seeds, caraway, nutmeg, ginger and cloves)
175 ml whole milk, warm
175 ml warm water
1 egg
125 gr sultanas (can mix with currants)
zest of 1 orange
For the Cross:
100 gr strong white flour
pinch salt
pinch sugar
25 gr melted butter
125 ml water
For the Bun Wash:
75 ml boiling water
1 tablespoon caster (very fine white) sugar
pinch of mixed spice

 In a very large mixing bowl, add all bun ingredients, except the sultanas and zest.  Mix together.  Pour the mixture onto a floured surface and start kneading.  As you do this, gradually add the sultanas and zest so that you knead these ingredients into the dough.  Take about 15 minutes until the dough is smooth.

Add this dough pack into the mixture bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 – 45 minutes until doubled in size.

Line a very large baking tin (with high sides) with greaseproof paper.

Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and cut in half and again until you have 16 even slices of dough.  Roll each of these into a ball and place in baking tray, approximately one finger spaced apart.  Cover again with the same cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 – 50 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F.

In a small bowl, mix all the bun cross ingredients together.  Whisk them until you have a smooth paste.  Add this to a piping bag with a 1/2 cm nozzle and pipe a cross on each bun once they have risen.

Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.    Mix the bun wash ingredients together and lightly brush each bun with this wash.  Serve these hot with a little (or in my case a lot) of butter inside.  Enjoy!

5 Responses to “Homemade Hot Cross Buns”

  1. bakedinpretoria April 5, 2012 at 08:44 #

    I also used to pick out all the raisins from mine, till I realised how much time it was taking up, and how many more Hot Cross Buns can be eaten in that time!

    • LearnToBake April 5, 2012 at 08:54 #

      Ha ha ha! Love it! That’s my kind of logic.


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