We’ve collected the best of the Easter hot cross bun recipes.
The Food Stork’s Spiced Chocolate Chip & Orange Hot Cross Buns
This recipe makes 12 large buns or 18 small ones.
- 85g milk chocolate chips
- 450g strong white flour
- 50g golden caster sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
- Zest of 1 orange
- A 7g sachet of fast-acting yeast
- 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 150ml tepid whole milk
- 5 tablespoons tepid water
- 1 large, organic egg, beaten
- To glaze – 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons water
Measure out the flour, salt, spices, yeast and sugar into a large bowl. Give it a good stir then make a well in the centre and pour in the melted butter, milk, orange zest, water and beaten egg. Mix well then tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and it give a good knead for 10 minutes until the dough has become smooth and elastic. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 ½ hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen pop it out onto a lightly floured surface, add the chocolate chips and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. Try and get the chocolate chips evenly spread throughout the dough. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (or 18 if you like a smaller bun) and shape each one into a round bun. Make a cross on the top of each bun using a sharp knife, then place them onto a prepared, lightly greased baking tray (you will need two).
Cover them loosely with cling film and return them to your warm place. Leave to rest and rise again for 30 minutes. While they are rising, pre-heat the oven to 200c. After 30 minutes, just before you bake the buns, go over each sliced cross again with a sharp knife as this helps make the ‘cross’ more pronounced when it’s cooked.
Bake the buns in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and hollow-sounding when the base is tapped. While the buns are baking, in a small pan dissolve the sugar in the water until you have a syrup.
As soon as the buns come out of the oven, pop them on a wire rack and brush them with the syrup to give a sticky, sweet glaze.
Nigella’s Easter Hot Cross Buns
I make my hot cross buns slightly smaller than is traditional. Don’t know why, just like them that way, but you form them the size you want, please. Just one thing I must be strict about: you do need to use proper bread flour here, not the usual plain. There’s no point to all this effort and ruining your chances of success over such a small but significant point.
By effort, I don’t mean you need to be hugely active or expert to make these; you just need the patience to sit around while they rise and the faith to believe they will. Very appropriate.
For the dough:
- 50 gram(s) butter
- 1 orange(s) (zest)
- 1 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 400 gram(s) bread flour
- 1 packet(s) yeast (easy blend)
- 125 gram(s) mixed dried fruit
- 1 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
- teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
- teaspoon(s) ground ginger
- 150 ml milk
- 1 egg(s)
For the egg wash:
- 1 medium egg(s) (beaten with a little milk)
For the cross on the buns
- 3 tablespoon(s) plain flour
- tablespoon(s) caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon(s) water
Heat the milk, butter, orange zest, clove and cardamom pods in a saucepan until the butter melts, then leave to infuse. I have gone rather cardamom mad recently, but this short aromatic infusion gives a heavenly scent to the little fruited buns later.
Measure the flour, yeast and dried fruit into a bowl and add the spices. When the infused milk has reached blood temperature take out the clove and cardamom pods, and beat in the egg. Pour this liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients.
Knead the bowl either by hand or with a machine with a dough hook; if it is too dry add a little more warm milk or water. Keep kneading until you have silky, elastic dough, but bear in mind that the dried fruit will stop this from being exactly satin smooth.
Form into a ball and place in a buttered bowl covered with cling film, and leave to prove overnight in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 7/220ºC. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
Punch the dough down, and knead it again until it is smooth and elastic. Divide into 16 balls and shape into smooth round buns. I wouldn’t start worrying unduly about their size: just halve the dough, and keep halving it until it’s in eight pieces, and use that piece to make two buns. Or just keep the dough as it is, and pinch off pieces slightly larger than a ping pong ball and hope you end up with 16 or thereabouts. Not that it matters.
Sit the buns on a baking parchment or Bake-O-Glide-lined baking sheet. Make sure they are quite snug together but not touching. Using the back of an ordinary eating knife, score the tops of the buns with the imprint of a cross. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove again for about 45 minutes – they should have risen and almost joined up.
Brush the buns with an egg wash, and then mix the flour, sugar and water into a smooth, thick paste. Using a teaspoon, dribble two lines over the buns in the indent of the cross, and then bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
When the hot cross buns come out of the oven, mix the sugar and boiling water together for the glaze, and brush each hot bun to make them sweet and shiny.
For more recipes, check out Nigella’s website.
Daylesford’s Hot Cross Bun Recipe
The hot cross bun is one of the most iconic British baked goods – dating as far back as Saxon times. The idea for a hot cross ‘loaf’ came from the youngest member of Head Baker Eric Duhamel’s team, Matthew Dunning. This recipe uses subtle levels of spices with just a touch of cloves, which can be over-powering. Best enjoyed hot and fresh, either as they are or spread with good butter, jam or marmalade if you like.
(Makes 3 small loaves or 12 buns… Takes 3 hours)
- 500g strong white flour
- 10g fine sea salt
- 10g fresh yeast or 4g dried yeast
- 75g butter, softened
- 25g golden syrup
- 110g milk
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsps ground cinnamon
- 90g currants
- 70g sultanas
- 70g mixed peel
- 1 egg, beaten, for brushing
- a little vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl and the clingfilm
For the crossing paste
- 60g plain flour
- 15g sunflower oil
For the glaze
- 25g sugar
- 1 tsp liquid malt (available from health stores)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
To make the dough, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl with the yeast, butter, syrup, milk and 220g of lukewarm water. Mix together to form a dough. Turn out on to your work surface an knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth.
Roll the dough out with a rolling pin to about 2cm thick, then sprinkle over the spices, fruit and peel. Knead again until evenly distributed throughout the dough, then from into a ball and put into a large oiled bowl. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.
Turn out the dough and “de-gas” by pressing down briefly and gently with the flat of your hand, to even out the bubbles of air, then divide into 12 pieces. Form each one into a bun shape and place on a large baking tray. Cover with a clean tea towel.
Leave the buns in a warm place, again until doubled in size, then brush with beaten egg.
Preheat the oven to 210 C/gas 7. While the buns are proving, make the crossing paste by mixing the flour and oil with 60g of water. Put it into a piping bag with a medium, plain nozzle.
To make the glaze, put the sugar, malt and lemon juice into a pan with 25g of water and heat, stirring, until boiling, then take off the heat and set aside to cool.
When the buns have doubled in size, pipe “crosses” on the top of each one then put into the preheated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden. If you throw some ice cubes into the bottom of the oven, this will create steam and enhance the rising and look of the buns.
Remove from the oven and, while still warm, brush the tops with the glaze. Leave to cool on a rack.