Here’s the traditional Hot Cross Bun Recipe I made yesterday. This was originally a Taste.com.au recipe that they have since removed from their website.
The only changes I made: I omitted the floury crosses added before baking (I find them tough and tasteless) and replaced them with either no crosses or the icing crosses after they’ve cooled. I also used an egg wash on them before baking (rather than the sweet apricot jam glaze after). I scored mine with a sharp knife in a cross shape to give me a guide for my Frosting Crosses but this extra step didn’t work out as planned so it’s totally up to you how you ‘dress’ yours.
I’m a little swamped with the kids all home for Easter Holidays so time is a little limited (eek!) so here goes.
- 1 and 1/2 cups (375ml) of warm Milk (if you can hold your finger in it for a count of 5 comfortably then temp is fine) – I’ve substituted with Oat Milk and Soy Milk
- 2 teaspoons (7g or 1 sachet) of Easy/Quick Dried Yeast
- 1/4 cup of Caster (Super-Fine) Sugar
- 1/4 cup of Butter, melted – I’ve substituted with Coconut Oil
- 1 egg, whisked
- 4 cups of Plain Strong Bread Flour (plus extra for kneading)
- 1 teaspoon of Salt
- 3 teaspoons of Mixed Spice
- 1 and 1/2 cups of Dried Fruit (traditionally: Sultanas, Raisins, Currants and Mixed Peel OR add something like dried blueberries of dried cranberries for something a bit different)
* If you don’t have Mixed Spice in your area you can use Pumpkin Pie Spice OR mix: 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp of ground allspice, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg and a pinch of ground cloves
For Egg Wash:
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 Tablespoons of Water
For the Frosting Crosses (to be applied after they’re baked and cooled):
- 1 cup (heaped) of Icing (Confectioners) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1-2 dessert spoons of milk (or water)
1/ To your warm milk, add 1 tablespoon of the sugar, stir and then sprinkle your yeast on top. Set this aside somewhere warm for approximately 10 minutes (it will bubble as the yeast activates)
2/ In a large mixing bowl combine 4 cups of flour, the mixed spice, salt and remaining sugar. Fold through the dried fruit.
3/ Once the yeast is activated combine the milk mixture, whisked eggs and melted butter
4/ Make a well in the center and pour in the liquid ingredients as you gently stir with a wooden spoon. Use your hands to pull the dough together.
5/ Flour down a clean surface (like your kitchen counter) and place your dough out and knead for 10 to 15 minutes or until it becomes smooth and stretchy. Sprinkle extra flour whenever you need to.
6/ Place the dough ball back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm to sit for an hour (or until the ball doubles in size)
7/ Preheat your oven to 200C (390F) and grease a baking tray.
8/ Turn dough back out onto your floured counter and knead for a further 5 minutes (or until it is stretchy and smooth)
9/ Cut your dough into 16 evenly sized pieces and shape into balls. Arrange dough balls onto your greased tray and set aside in a warm spot for 30 more minutes (they should have risen by about an inch).
10/ Make up your egg wash by whisking the egg and water together. Brush the egg wash on top of your buns with a pastry brush.
11/ Place in your preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes before lowering the heat to 180C (360F) and baking for 20 more minutes (should be cooked through and nice and golden on top)
12/ Place on a rack to cool (or eat warm out of the oven!). Allow to cool completely.
13/ Make up the frosting crossed by combining the frosting ingredients together, placing in a sandwich bag with the corner snipped (or in a proper piping bag) and pipe your frosting in crosses on top of the cooled buns