Category Archives: Hot Cross Buns

How to Make Hot Cross Buns

These come together so quickly and easily you’ll want to bake up a batch every Friday (or Saturday, or Sunday, or Monday…). They’re light, slightly sweet with a hint of spice and candied fruit. Delicious but not so much of a Lenten indulgence that you’ll have to go to confession afterward. Use whatever dried fruit is handy. Raisins are very common, currents are very English, citron is very hip, dried apricot is very, um…Louisville. Mix and match them to your heart’s content. Start by assembling your ingredients. Put the dried fruit in a medium microwave-safe bowl and zap until he water starts to boil. Let them sit, plump and cool.

Whisk your liquid ingredients in a medium bowl.

Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle.

Give the dry ingredients a stir to blend them, then add the liquids all at once.

Mix just long enough to moisten them…

…and switch to the dough hook. Knead several minutes until the dough comes together in a soft ball, about like this. If it’s too wet, just add a few tablespoons of extra flour. The dough will be rather sticky and will cling to the bottom of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on and add the soft butter.

Once it’s all incorporated, add the dried and/or candied fruit that you’ve thoroughly drained and pressed in a strainer.

Let the dough rise for about an hour and a half or until doubled in volume.

About like this:

Now cut them into pieces between 2 and 2.75 ounces. I did the larger and got 18 buns. 2-ounces dough pieces will give you about 25.

Shape the pieces into rolls according to the directions in the post How to Shape Buns and Rolls. Paint them with egg wash….

…and let them proof 30-45 minutes or so until the balls are again almost doubled, but still spring back when you poke them. Meanwhile, paint them with egg wash again and preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake them about 20 minutes until they look like this:

Let them cool and apply the icing crosses. I went a little heavy with the icing but hey, Lent is long. I like rack for this so the icing doesn’t pool up between the buns. Serve them warm.

Did I mention you don’t need to be Catholic or even Christian to enjoy a good hot cross bun? Jump in folks, the water’s fine.

Filed under:  Hot Cross Buns, Pastry | 29 Comments

Hot Cross Bun Recipe

I’m normally a long-fermentation snob where it comes to bread, but frankly with all the spices in these little guys it’s mighty hard to pick up the subtleties that a long rise offers. A full tablespoon of instant yeast blows this dough up in no time — foom — which means from mixing to glazing, you can have these done in about four hours.

1 lb. 9 ounces (5 cups) bread flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups warm milk
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, room temperature
4 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
egg wash
simple icing

Place the raisins in a bowl and add enough water to barely cover them. Microwave them for about a minute until the water boils. Allow them to sit about 15 minutes to plump and cool. Put flour, yeast spices and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater (paddle) attachment. Turn on low to blend. In a medium bowl combine milk, honey, eggs and whisk lightly to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of the mixer as it’s running and continue to stir until the flour mixture is completely moistened. Turn off the mixer and switch to the dough hook. Turn the mixer up to medium and add the butter and raisins. Knead 5-7 minutes until the dough comes together in a soft ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into 18 pieces (they should weigh a little over 3 ounces each). Shape the pieces into buns according to the How to Shape Buns and Rolls instructions under the bread how-to’s on the right. Place the rolls on parchment-lined sheet pans and spray lightly with cooking spray. Cover gently with greased plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, about another 30-45 minutes (they should be puffy, but the dough should spring back some when you poke it).

Paint the buns with egg wash and score the tops of them in a criss-cross pattern. Bake for about 20 minutes or until well browned. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack. When completely cooled, drizzle on simple icing in a cross shape, or use a pastry bag if you prefer!

Filed under:  Hot Cross Buns, Pastry | 14 Comments