Hot Cross Buns
These aren’t just any buns. They are enriched dough Hot Cross Buns. They are really delicious and easy to make.
Hot Cross Buns are a spiced sweet bun typically made with fruit and marked with a cross on top. They are usually made for Good Friday and marks the end of Lent. It is believed that this tradition started back in 1361 by a monk at the St. Albans Abbey when he distributed the Hot Cross Buns to the poor. Some believe that the cross represents the crucifixion Jesus. Non-Christians believe the cross represents the balance of night and day on the Spring Equinox (Ostara).
This recipe is very easy as everything goes into the bowl of your stand mixer, one right after another. There is enough sugar in the recipe, that it will feed the yeast, so you don’t have to wait for a poolish (starter) to form any bubbles. Use the dough hook attachment for this recipe.
You start by adding warm milk to the bowl. Followed by two packages of the active dry yeast. Mix to incorporate. Add the granulated sugar. Mix again, then add the salt. Add the melted and cooled butter, the beaten egg, spices and the zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange. Mix to incorporate.
Add the sifted flour in two batches, mixing as you go. Do not over mix or the dough will become tough. Add the currants or raisins that have been soaked overnight and drained. Add the minced citron and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Remove the dough from the mixer to a lightly floured surface. Knead into a smooth ball. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to double in size.
Once doubled, remove the dough from the bowl. Fold the dough inwards repeatedly until all the air is knocked out. Divide into 24 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place them fairly close together on the baking tray that has been lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow them to rise and double in size. The sides should be touching by this point. I had them separated at first, but then I moved them closer to each other. I forgot to take another photo.
Mix up the flour mixture to make the crosses. Using a piping bag fitted with a plain piping tip, pipe crosses on the buns. Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the buns from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Warm your apricot glaze adding a little water, strain it and brush it on top of the buns. Allow to cool before eating.
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Hot Cross Buns
A wonderful, spiced sweet enriched bun.
- 1 cup whole milk, warm (approximately 100 degrees)
- 2 package dry active yeast
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 pinches ground ginger
- 1 pinch ground cardamom
- 4 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
- 3 large egg, beaten
- 1 lemon, zest only
- 1 orange, zest only
- 3 ounces raisins (soaked overnight)
- 1 ounce citron, minced (optional)
For the crosses:
- 2 ½ ounces all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ ounces water
- 3 ounces Apricot jam mixed with 1 teaspoon water to glaze
- Step 1 Add the warm milk to your stand mixer, mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment. Add in the two packages of dry active yeast. Stir to dissolve. Add the granulated sugar and mix again.
- Step 2 Then add the Kosher salt, the melted and cooled unsalted European butter, the beaten eggs and the spices. Add the lemon and orange zest. Mix to incorporate.
- Step 3 Add the sifted flour in two batches. Mix to incorporate, but do not over mix.
- Step 4 Add the soaked and drained currants or raisins and citron. Mix to incorporate.
- Step 5 Remove from the dough from the mixer and transfer to a lightly floured surface.
- Step 6 Knead for a few minutes. Do not over knead. Form into a ball. Place into an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit until double in size.
- Step 7 Remove the dough from the bowl. Fold the dough inwards repeatedly until all the air is knocked out. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
- Step 8 Place them fairly close together on the baking tray that has been lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow them to rise and double in size. The sides should be touching by this point.
- Step 9 Once they have doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap. Prepare your flour/water mixture and pipe a cross over all of the buns.
- Step 10 Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray about half way through. Remove the buns from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Step 11 Prepare the apricot and water glaze in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until heated through. Strain the glaze through a mesh sieve that is placed over a bowl. Brush heated jam over buns.
- Step 12 Allow the buns to cool before serving.