Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

It's coming up to Easter so all the supermarkets and bakeries are saturated with hot cross buns, of all types. I walked past a bakery one day and saw some hot cross buns and really wanted to buy it. But I decided I would attempt to make them this year as I've been meaning to make them for a while. I'm just not very confident working with yeast, but again, it was Twitter to the rescue. As I was talking to Karen, she suggested trying the recipe she uses as it's quite simple and always works. So that's what I did, with success. The hot cross buns were very good, with a good soft texture and a good taste. They look pretty good too if I say so myself. You can find the recipe at Citrus and Candy, but I've rewritten it here with some added tips from my mistakes.

Hot Cross Buns

makes 12)

310ml warmed milk
60g caster sugar
16g instant dried yeast (about 4 teaspoons)
600g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
60g butter, softened
1.5 cups of raisins / sultanas (375ml) – or to taste
2 eggs

60g plain flour
60ml water
2 Tbl apricot jam, warmed in a pan over low heat and strained


1. Whisk together sugar, milk and yeast until sugar has dissolved. Yeast can really fly all over the place so work over the sink if you can. Cover the mixture and set it aside for 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.

2. Mix flour, salt and spices in large bowl. Rub butter into flour until crumbly. It's vital to have the butter soft or you'll have really tired forearms like me as my butter was still cold.

3. Stir in the sultanas, egg (I beat it slightly) and frothy yeast mixture until combined.

4. Flour a surface quite liberally, as well as your hands. I found that I put far too less flour initially and the dough stuck to the bench and my fingers badly. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Lightly grease a large clean bowl (I used can oil spray) and place dough into it. Turn dough so it is coated with grease. Cover in clingwrap and leave in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

5. Remove clingwrap and punch dough until it has dropped in size a bit. Give it a quick knead and divide into 12 pieces.

6. Placed into a greased 20 x 30 cm baking tray, cover with clingwrap and leave in a warm place to rise for 15 minutes. Don't use too small a tray or they become squashed together like mine and don't look quite as nice. Preheat oven to 200C.

7. Whisk together flour and water to make cross paste. Pipe onto buns. Use a fine piping tip or you'll get big gluggy dough crosses like I did, which do not taste good. Bake at 200C for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 180C and bake a further 15 minutes. Buns are ready when it sounds hollow when you tap the top.

8. Brush with warmed apricot jam liberally to get that nice glossy shine and flavour.


  1. Your HCB's cross looks like a real cross!

  2. Those hot cross buns looks amazing.

  3. They look great Thanh! If you only brought me some last weekend! btw, nice food styling :)

  4. Did you double the recipe? There are at least 16 buns in the pic - or did you make smaller ones?

  5. Michelle, the crosses looked good because I had a massive piping tip but do not taste good when they're so large.

    Amy, thank you.

    Cherrie, yes my fail, should have brought some. And thanks, I like the look of the styling too.

    Liz, good spotting. I did double the recipe and it made about 28 rather than 24. You can make them as large or small as you wish.

  6. Wow, these look great Thahn - better than some commercial ones. The whole world has gone Hot Cross Bun mad, at least the blog world.Never seen anything like it.

  7. Glad to be of assistance and they look great Thanh! You're going to be churning out awesome breads and yeasted goodies in no time at all :)

  8. Hi~! I will be visiting Melbourne in a week's time. Are there any cheap and good restaurants in the city that you would recommend?

  9. Ed, thanks. It does seem like people are tweeting and blogging about HCBs, but it is Easter. Just now it's a more public forum that everyone's talking on so maybe that fuels more talk about it.

    Karen, thanks for suggesting that recipe. I feel far more confident now and will attempt more yeasted goodies.

    Prongs, in the city you can try HuTong Dumpling Bar, Don Too, Ramen-Ya, Gami, Kum Den, Trunk for pizza, Old Town Kopitiam. All cheap places tend to be Asian restaurants. I don't know of many other types.

  10. These look absolutely stunning, well done! Interesting to read about the use of apricot jam for the gloss - nice!
    Heidi xo

  11. ahhh i was about to bake my own hot cross buns this year~but got too lazy :P yours look delicious!

  12. Damn... these hot cross buns look super awesome! Are they all gone now?

  13. Heidi, thank you. Apricot jam works a treat for glazes on most desserts. The flavour is also not too strong so it doesn't fight with the item being glazed.

    Rina, oh well, next year. Or you can make these anytime really, tastes great just as a breakfast or snack item.

    Penny, they're not bad. I have 6 left that I've frozen to see how they will be after defrosting so I can make double batches and store them.

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  15. Hi Thanh. I made hot cross buns based on your recipe and they turned out great! I've posted about them on my own (very new) blog. Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. Hi Danielle, I'm glad you liked them and they turned out well. Now we can all make hot cross buns and enjoy them all year round.