Hot Cross Buns

We’ve had home made hot cross buns every Easter season for as long as I can remember.  When I was little my mum made them every Spring and over the last few years, my sisters and I have tried our hand at her recipe.  I have to admit, I have never really fallen in love with mixed peel and more often than not, leave it out and substitute raisins or currents.  I think the effect is still there.  Let me know what you think!

Add the warmed milk to the yeast mixture

Stir to combine then place in a warm place until frothy!

see the frothy-ness?

Add the butter and egg, stirring until incorporated

sift together the flour, spices, and sugar

combine the wet and dry, including the peel or currents

knead until soft, smooth and elastic

let rise for 90 minutes – forgot to take a picture

form into rolls (approximately 12) and let rise for 40 minutes

Place the pastry crosses on the rolls and bake!

Fresh from the oven

glazed and ready to eat, toasted with some strawberry jam

Hot Cross Buns – mum’s recipe


3/4 c flour + 2 1/4 c flour
1 tbsp dried yeast
1 tsp sugar + 3 tbsp sugar
2/3 c milk
1/4 c water
1/4 c butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
a healthy dash of allspice
a healthy dash of cloves
a healthy dash of ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp currents
2 tbsp mixed peel


1/4 c milk
1/4 c water
3 tbsp sugar

Sieve 3/4 c flour into a bowl.  Whisk in the yeast and sugar.  Warm the milk and water to tepid/lukewarm.  Combine the yeast mixture with the warmed milk and water.  Leave to stand in a warm place for 20 minutes or until frothy.

Beat the butter and egg into the yeast mixture.  Sieve in the remaining flour (2 1/4 c), spices, sugar, currants, and peel.  Stir well to combine.  Knead on a floured surface (or toss in your kitchenaid with the dough hook) until smooth and elastic (at least 5 minutes).  Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (roughly 90 minutes).

Turn out the risen dough, punching it down to remove the air.  Divide into 12 parts, roll into rounds, placing on a tray smooth side up.  Lightly score a cross into the surface of the roll.  Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for 40 minutes to rise.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Make the crosses by rolling out the pastry (see recipe below) and cutting out thin strips. Brush the surface of the buns with water then lightly pressing the pastry into the indentations.  Place the buns in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 8-10 minutes.  While the buns cook, warm the milk, sugar, and water for the glaze.  When the buns are finished, remove them from the oven, brush the glaze oven the buns twice and let cool on a wire rack.

***Watch the hot cross buns carefully – I find the oven temperature a bit high and tend to lower it after 7 minutes and then bake for another 8 minutes ****

Pastry for the cross – I use the pastry recipe on the back of the tenderflake box and use the leftovers to make chicken pot pie or..just pie 🙂

5 1/2 c flour
1 lb lard
1 egg
1 tbsp vinegar
cold water

Cut the lard into the pastry until it resembles coarse oatmeal.  I use a pastry cutter or my hands, but you can use two knives. Beat the egg in a liquid measure cup.  Add to the egg the vinegar, then enough cold water to bring the total amount of liquid to 1 c.  Use cold water and cold lard.  It makes for a flakier pastry.

Where to let your dough rise?
I warm my oven to its lowest setting, turn it off, and then put my dough in to rise.  It’s a draft free space that’s worked for me for the last few years.  Basically any warm, draft free place will work!  My mum used to put them on the windowsill in our sun room.  The whole main floor of our house would fill with the smell of hot cross buns.  Delicious!!


One thought on “Hot Cross Buns

  1. om nom nom nom… thanks Carolyn! I’m looking foward to trying this recipe out! My mom taught me the same trick for rising dough in a slightly warm oven. 🙂

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