Hot Cross Buns
RECIPE: HOT CROSS BUNS
Hot Cross Buns are sweet and spicy buns usually made with some dried fruit and is marked with a cross on top. Traditionally enjoyed on Good Friday, the buns also mark the end of Lent. These have a certain meaning. The cross represents the crucification of Jesus and the spices signifies the spices used to embalm the body of Him during burial.
Perhaps dating back to 1700s it is believed that bakers and their kids would shout out to customers to buy the freshly baked Hot Cross Buns. However, that song is practically stuck in my brains and come Easter Time, can’t help but sing it!
These days its common to find different flavours of Hot Cross Buns in the supermarkets. Coffee flavored, chocolate, apple cinnamon ones, orange cranberry, lemon and poppy seeds and even toffee ones. I’d love to try out almond and cherry ones and mango coconut ones too. However, my recipe for now is the traditional Hot Cross Buns. Main flavours are used to make Hot Cross Buns Cupcakes.
Some Sweet Breads You May Want to Check Out
- Fennel and Poppy Seed Rolls
- Gingerbread and Oatmeal Bread
- Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread
- Mini Panettone
- Irish Freckle Bread
- Date Bread
- Italian Pumpkin Bread
- Baklava Bread Rolls
- Barmbrack or Speckled Bread
- Spicy Pumpkin Yeast Bread
Ingredients Required For Hot Cross Buns
- Plain Flour – all purpose flour – for the buns and the flour paste. Extra flour for sprinkling on the worktop when kneading the dough.
- Dried Fruits – raisins, sultana, currants, mixed peels
- Yeast – dried active yeast. I have used the instant one. If you use dried active yeast, you will need to ferment the yeast for about 10 minutes in some warm milk. Add about 1 tsp sugar to the warm milk, stir. Add the yeast, mix. Cover and allow it to ferment for 10 minutes or till the mixture is frothy and bubbly.
- Sugar – use caster or brown sugar. Also need some white sugar for the flour paste and for the sugar glaze.
- Fresh Juice – can use either apple or orange juice. I’ve used orange juice.
- Salt – to balance the flavours
- Butter – use either salted or unsalted. If using salted then use half the quantity of salt. Need to melt the butter and allow it to cool before using it.
- Cinnamon Powder
- Nutmeg Powder
- Clove Powder
- Eggs – large at room temperature, for the bread dough and for the wash
- Orange Zest – grated rind of orange, optional
- Water– for the flour paste and sugar glaze
HOW TO SHAPE THE ROLLS PERFECTLY:
I like how simply BAKING MAD.COM explains to roll bread dough into perfect round balls. Check the video out.
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HOT CROSS BUNS
FOR THE HOT CROSS BUNS DOUGH:
- ½ cup fresh orange juice or apple juice hot
- ¾ cups raisins, sultana, mixed peel mixture
- 3½ cups plain flour/ bread flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp instant active dry yeast
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
- ¼ tsp clove powder
- 2 large eggs room temperature, beaten
- 6 tbsp butter melt it and cool
- ¾ cup milk warm
- 1 tbsp orange zest
FOR THE FLOUR PASTE:
- ½ cup plain flour
- 3-5 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp sugar
FOR THE EGG WASH:
- 1 small egg
- 1 tbsp milk
FOR THE SUGAR GLAZE:
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 6 tbsp water
SOAK THE DRIED FRUITS:
- Heat up the orange juice or apple juice till it becomes hot.
- Add the dried fruit mixture to the hot juice. Mix and allow it to soak for at least 15-20 minutes.
PREPARATION OF THE HOT CROSS BUNS DOUGH:
- Sift 3 cups of flour, salt and the spice powders together into a big mixing bowl.
- Add sugar and yeast. If you are using normal active dry yeast, allow it to ferment in the measured warm milk.
- Add warm milk, melted butter, beaten eggs and orange zest to the flour.
- Drain out the soaked fruits. Save the liquid.
- Sprinkle about 3-4 tbsp flour( from the remaining half cup) over the soaked fruit. Mix gently.
- Add the liquid and the soaked fruits to the flour mixture.
- Bring everything together to form a dough.
- Sprinkle the work top with some flour.
- Put the dough on the worktop and begin to knead it.
- If it is too sticky, add a tbsp of flour at a time.
- Knead the dough till its smooth and silky and only slightly sticky. This will take about 7-10 minutes.
- Can knead the dough in stand mixer using the dough hook.
- Lightly grease a big bowl with some oil or butter.
- Shape the dough into a round ball. Put it in the greased bowl and cover.
- Allow the dough to rise till its double in size. Mine took 1 hour.
PREPARATION OF THE FLOUR PASTE:
- While you wait for the dough to ferment, prepare the flour paste and the sugar syrup.
- To prepare the flour paste, mix the flour and sugar in a small bowl.
- Add 1 tbsp of water at a time till you get a creamy paste, which is not too thick or runny. You should be able to pipe it using an icing bag.
PREPARATION OF THE SUGAR GLAZE:
- Mix sugar and water in a saucepan.
- Place it over medium heat, and stir till the sugar melts.
- Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 8-10 minutes or till it thickens like a syrup.
SHAPING THE HOT CROSS BUNS:
- Gently deflate the risen dough.
- Sprinkle the worktop with some flour.
- Knead the dough gently. Divide it into 12 parts.
- Grease a baking tray that is about 9X11 inches in size. I used butter ofr greasing.
- Roll each part into a ball by circulating it on the worktop with your fingers till it becomes a round shape.
- Arrange the rolled balls in the greased tray.
- Cover the tray with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise for 30-45 minutes or till they are double in size.
PREPARATION OF THE EGG WASH:
- Whisk the egg and milk together, gently.
BAKING THE HOT CROSS BUNS:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Brush the risen dough balls gently with the egg wash.
- Fit in a round plain icicing nozzle to the icing bag. Fill the icing bag with the flour paste.
- Pipe a cross on each bun.
- Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Allow the buns to cool a bit in the tray for about 3-5 minutes.
- Gently remove the baked buns and place them on a wire rack to cool down completely.
- Brush the cooled down Hot Cross Buns with the sugar glaze.
- Fermenting time for dough will vary depending on how hot your kitchen is .
- I've used a mixture of raisins, sultana and mixed peels. Feel free to use raisins on their own. Can also add dried cranberries.
- Instead of flour paste you can using icing to create the cross. Bake the buns and allow them to cool down. Take about 1 cup icing or confectioners sugar and mix it with 1 tbsp water or orange juice. Use that for piping the cross.
- Instead of sugar glaze you can drizzle glaze icing over the buns. Mix 1 cup icing or confectioners sugar with 3 tbsp water or orange juice. Drizzle over the baked and cooled down buns.
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