A beautiful hot cross buns recipe that is easy to make and produces THE fluffiest, softest buns. These are a traditional hot cross bun recipe that is easy to make with just a little patience! I love making these every Easter, and you get the satisfaction knowing you've made them from scratch.
Weeeeee happy almost Easter!!
I freaking love Easter, it's almost my favourite holiday! Easter definitely looks different this year given the current COVID-19 pandemic, but I can still maintain some of my favourite Easter traditions.
Every Easter I make a batch of homemade hot cross buns and they're always a hit! Better than store bought, plus you get the satisfaction of making them yourself!
Easter may be done through Zoom this year, but I'm still happy to be able to maintain some of our traditions.
Hot Cross Buns Recipe
The original recipe has been adapted from one of my fav food bloggers Recipe Tin Eats and has since been adapted over time. I guarantee this recipe produces THE fluffiest, softest hot cross buns!
Ingredients to Make Hot Cross Buns
You'll need the following ingredients to make hot cross buns.
I use Tandaco dried yeast that comes in sachets. It's easy to find in most supermarkets and is cheap. You'll need 1 tablespoon which is about 10 grams.
As usually for baking I use caster sugar. If you don't have it, normal white sugar is fine or you can make your own by using a mortar and pestle to grind up the white sugar. You'll need ½ a cup, or around 115 grams.
I use full cream milk, and you'll need 1 ½ cups of milk at luke warm temperature.
You'll need 4 ¼ cups plus an extra ¼ cups of plain flour. As you can see in the recipe image I had wholemeal plain flour. Due to COVID-19 I haven't been able to find any plain flour in stores so had to make do with wholemeal.
I found using wholemeal was similar, but I prefer the taste and texture of plain white flour. Wholemeal flour is a little more grainy than plain flour.
Spices & Salt
You'll need ground cinnamon and ground all spice. Both easily found in supermarkets. You'll also need a little bit of sea salt for taste.
In America I used small flame raisins, they are similar to the usual sultana's we get at home. Aussie friends - sultanas (tarnies') all the way!
Egg and Butter
You'll need 50g or 3 tablespoons of butter which you melt, and 1 egg lightly beaten.
Process for Making Hot Cross Buns
Step 1: Place two teaspoons of sugar in your luke warm milk. Luke warm is between 36-40 degrees celsius, or 105F.
If you don't have a thermometer, a test is to stick your finger in the milk. It should be a gentle warmth, like bath water temperature, not scalding.
Dissolve the sugar, then sprinkle the yeast on top of the milk and leave it for 5 minutes so the yeast activates. The yeast won't activate in scalding water, hence why you need luke warm water.
Step 2: Combine the flour, spices, sultanas and salt into a large bowl, then add the melted butter, egg and yeast/milk mixture.
Step 3: There are two options for kneading.
Option 1 - if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, then use this to knead your dough for 5 to 10 minutes.
Option 2 - if you don't, you'll need to hand knead your dough. To do this, flour a surface and turn out the mixture. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes until the dough is smooth.
Step 4 - first rise. Cover your dough with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour to 1 ½ hours.
Step 5 - punch down the dough and turn onto a floured surface. Shape your dough into a log and divide it into 12 equal (as possible) pieces.
Step 6 - take a piece of dough and flatten it with the palm of your hand. Then gently grab the corners of the dough and fold them into the middle so you create a round top (like a money bag dumpling). Use your hands to shape into even balls.
Lay out the dough onto a baking tray lined with paper and cover with a tea towel for a second rise.
Step 7 - make the crosses by combining flour and water. Place into a snap lock bag and snip the corner of the bag to pipe the crosses.
Step 8 - bake the hot cross buns in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until they're golden brown on top.
Step 9 - optional step, make the glaze by combining apricot jam with water and microwave for 30 seconds. Use a silicone brush to brush the glaze on your warm buns.
Step 10 - serve and enjoy!
Is my dough kneaded enough?
The dough should be nice and elastic. You'll need to most likely add an additional ¼ cup of flour when kneading the dough. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour.
If using a stand mixer and dough hook, the dough should eventually come away from the sides and stick to the dough hook.
When you try to pull the dough apart, the dough shouldn't have cracks in it, it should be nice and smooth.
Once you've rolled your dough into balls, you need to place them in a baking tray to rise again.
You'll want a deep baking tray that's about 11"x9" which is about 30cmx22cm or thereabouts. The dough balls should fit comfortably side by side without getting overcrowded or squashed.
How to Serve Hot Cross Buns
These are best served straight out of the oven with butter.
How to Store Hot Cross Buns
Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days. That's if they last that long!
I do so hope you guys enjoy your Easter and that you can find ways to celebrate still!
If you are celebrating, this hot cross buns recipe should certainly be on your menu this year! Stay safe and have a happy holiday!
Hot Cross Buns Recipe
- 1 tablespoon dried yeast 10 g
- ½ cup sugar 115g superfine/caster sugar
- 1 ½ cups milk lukewarm (36-40C/105F)
- 4 ¼ cups plain flour 585g + ¼ cup extra for kneading
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon allspice
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups sultanas 280g
- 3 ½ tablespoon butter 50g, melted
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- ½ cup plain flour
- 5 ½ tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 2 teaspoon water
- Dissolve 2 teaspoons of the sugar into the lukewarm milk. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and for 5 minutes until frothy.
- Add plain flour, spices, sugar, sultanas, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a small well in the center.
- Add egg, melted butter and yeast mixture. Use a wooden spoon to combine mixture slightly before kneading.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 10 to 15 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Eventually, the mixture should not stick to your hands. An alternative - use a mixer with a dough hook and knead until smooth. Add the additional ¼ cup of flour if needed. Dough shouldn't be sticky.
- Return dough to a clean bowl, and cover with a clean tea towel. Store in a warm place to rise 1 to 1 ½ hours. The dough should be more than doubled in size.
Making Dough Balls
- Line an 11.5"x9"/30cmx22cm (or thereabouts) baking tray with parchment paper, leaving a little overhang on the longer side edges.
- Remove tea towel from the bowl and punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead lightly to remove excess air, then form into a log shape. Cut into 12 equal pieces.
- Take one piece, flatten it with your palm, then gather the sides together to form a ball. Roll to smooth out, and place in the baking tray, smooth side up. Repeat with remaining dough balls. The dough should line up 4x3
- Place the same clean, teatowel from before over baking dish, and leave to rise for 30 minutes. The dough balls should be about 75% risen.
- Halfway through the second rise, preheat oven to 350F/180C.
- Place flour and water in a bowl and mix together until smooth.
- Spoon into a large snap-lock bag, and cut a small hole in one corner of the bag.bag
- Remove tea towel and pipe crosses carefully over buns. Start at one side and make smooth continuous movements until you reach the other end. Repeat with remaining rows.
- Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Combine the apricot jam and water in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds
- Use a silicone brush to brush the tops of the buns with the glaze.
- Remove buns from oven and serve immediately with butter.
This recipe has been updated with new information and better photos to aid you in making this recipe.
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Katherine | Love In My Oven says
My husband literally just mentioned hot cross buns to me today - he wants me to make some! Now I have a recipe 😉 These look terrific, Georgie! Perfect for Easter and Spring!! XO
yay! please let me know if you make them 🙂 hot cross buns are my actual favorite I LOVE them! problem is can't just stop at one! x
I haven't had my first hot cross bun of the year yet, and this post has made me very excited (and hungry) to have one.
yess!!! ha ha we couldn't wait, i know it's not even close but I love them so much!
Hot cross buns - who will not love it! These look just perfect, soft, fluffy. Buns look great!
thank you Jyothi 🙂
Hot Cross buns for Easter are always a special treat! You make this recipe look so easy and of course delicious.
thanks Sharon! they are so soft and fluffy!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
These are so perfect and also so perfect for Easter! I bet these are AMAZING straight out of the oven, maybe (definitely) with butter. I can practically smell 'em now 😉 Beautiful pictures too, by the way!
thanks so much Dawn!! they are so perfect for brunch! i love them!
Ben Myhre says
I am not really an Easter fan except for the excuse to gorge myself with yummy food! Buns are always a part of that and these look really good!
I'm really into Easter for the food too mainly ha ha! thanks Ben 🙂
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
I love hot cross buns so much! Really, I love anything I can slather in butter. These really do look like the fluffiest hot cross buns ever and I might just show up on your doorstep for Easter 🙂
i would love that ha ha! hmmmm hot out of the oven they are so so good!