Nothing is more irresistible when you take the first bite of freshly baked hot cross buns; your mouth fills up with the perfect combo of baked raisins, spices, and exceptionally airy bread, giving you the bonafide lenient aroma of spices, fresh bread, and honeyed raisins all at once.
I still remember that during teen life, my aunt joined us back after her glamorous London trip. Though she wanted to give us a treat which we later enjoyed in Easter celebrations at first, she made us listen to her memorable trip stories. She was talking about the customs, foods, and traditions of their culture.
Honestly, instead of listening and answering her, I just passed a smile because my mind was floating somewhere in the dreams of having spiced up, freshly baked hot cross buns. Jumping up to this date, I’m baking them in Lenten season.
This Hot Cross Bun recipe, when made at home, turns out far much better than you get pre-baked from stores and bakeries. We are sure if you tried this recipe, you would never give a damn look at store-bought ones. Instead, you will bake it freshly for yourself and your family.
What are Hot Cross Buns?
The hot cross buns are the yeast; sweet buns sprinkled with some spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, tangy currants, and sweet raisins. This traditional Easter’s Good Friday treat is used to serve up with various variations; nowadays. However, it originated back in ancient Rome’s Christens era linked with multiple beliefs. It was best served hot, toasted, or cold with a combo or dripping butter during the Easter holidays.
Though the recipe is still likewise back in ancient times, its serving styles are evolved, and people like to combine it with multiple options the way their heart desires. Inspired by its history and current serving fusions, I decided to make this recipe, known as Easter Good Friday’s treat for my boy Desmond & husband.
Easy Easter Bun Recipe Ingredients
- Active Dry Yeast – While raising up the dough, it gives a yeasty aroma and specific taste of bread.
- Warm Water – The warmth aids in awakening the yeast, 105F- 115 F.
- Milk – Giving your buns a perfect milky flavour when poured into the dough during the kneading process.
- Unsalted Butter – To give your buns the perfect moisture; we use it to add a rich taste.
- Sugar – When combined with yeast and warm water ferments the yeast and makes the yeasty foam that turns the dough twice in size.
- Salt – Uplifts the tastes of buns.
- Egg – Helping up in the rising process adds to makes the dough’s texture airy.
- All-Purpose Flour – The essential ingredient that shapes up the buns bread.
- Raisins/Currants – When baked out from the oven, mixed and in the dough gives an irresistible sweet and tangy flavour.
- Grated Orange – Use the only orange zesty part and exclude the pith or white part in the dough that adds tangy flavour and aroma to your hot cross buns.
- Spices – The excellent combo of nutmeg and cinnamon enhances the taste of cross buns.
- Flour – Thickens and works as a base in the paste that later used to make crosses on the buns.
- Water – Adding it in the four to liquefy and gives moisture to make the paste.
- Sugar – When added in the flour paste to make crosses over the top of buns; it satisfies the sweet tooth souls out there.
- Warm Milk – Warm some milk so that sugar can dissolve easily in it.
- Sugar – Mixing it in the preheated warm milk to be brushed over the scorching hot crossed buns to soften out their crust.
You can substitute active dry yeast with:
- Instant yeast – 1 2/3 teaspoons (can be directly added to the flour, no need for proofing).
- Fresh yeast – needs proofing
- 17.5 grams fresh yeast
- 1 block (0.6-ounce size)
- 1/3 block (2-ounce size) of fresh yeast.
My Boy, Desmond, is not fond of eating raisins and spices added in this recipe. He picked them out all the time. Similarly, if your taste choices are different, then it’s up to you how much you desire to taste spices and raisins in it.
You may replace raisins/currants with:
- Dried Cranberries – They are equally sweet and the taste is similar to raisins.
- Chocolate or White Chocolate Chips – is the best replacement if you’re not a fan of fruits in your bread.
- Nuts – If you want to add some crunch to your bread.
- Fresh Fruits – some of my favorite additions are orange, pear, apple, or mango.
As traditions evolved, many versions of hot cross buns are rising to popularity nowadays. You may want to try:
- Hot Cross Bun Muffins – stuffed with blueberry and orange, or the classic apple and cinnamon combo.
- Hot Cross Bun Spice Biscuits – perfect to munch on any time of the day or for afternoon tea time.
- Hot Cross Bun Pudding – bread baked into a creamy custard is the next best thing.
- Hot Cross Bun Loaf – get a slice and smother with your favorite jam and butter and you’re all set for a wonderful brekky.
Storage and Making Ahead Instructions
Making the dough
- You don’t have to sweat yourself in the kitchen when cross buns craving comes up; instead, you can knead the dough in a batch and put it in the refrigerator for later use. When you are all done kneading your dough, all you have to do is slice the dough into pieces and turn them into equal balls.
Storing and Refrigerating
- Set them up in a greased skillet, cover them up tightly, and presto, your hot crossed buns are ready to stay in the refrigerator. When they get a freeze, you can also shift them from skillet to a freezing bag upon your desire.
- When your hot crossing buns craving awakens, all you have to do is arrange the freeze balls in the greased skillet and then cover it by making sure the dough is not interacting with air.
- Later, leave it aside at room temperature for the dough to rise. From there, you have to put the crossing paste over it, and at last, you just have to bake it at the timings and settings mentioned above.
It’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to just stick with dripping buttery pieces of sweet cross bun. You can try out additional topping and saucing to satisfy up your cross buns cravings.
It holistically depends upon your taste choice; either you want to pour the whole jar of Nutella over the top of your buns. Spread your best-loved jam by splitting the buns upside down away or just nosh down it hot right after taking out from the oven along with a mug of creamy, frothy cappuccino.
You can also dust the powdered sugar on top of crossed buns which sounds satisfying to sweet tooth souls. Further options you can give it a go are fondant, salted caramel, cream cheese, or chocolate sauces.
More Easy Baked Treats
If you love to eat baked treats and want more easy baking recipes, then I’m sure you will love to go through drooling easy baking recipes that you can make just by following the instruction and guidelines that we have mentioned below:
How to Make Hot Cross Buns?
Proof the Yeast
- Mix: In a standing mixer or large bowl combine 2 or 3 tablespoons lukewarm water and yeast. Let it sit until dissolve for about 5 minutes. Mix for about a minute. (Photo 1)
- Combine milk, butter, sugar, & salt: Meanwhile in a microwave-safe medium bowl, combine milk, with the butter pieces, sugar, salt, and microwave for about a minute. Stir until everything is melted. (Photos 2)
- Lightly whisk in the egg to the butter mixture, if the mixture is too hot let it cool to a warm to prevent eggs from curding. (Photo 3)
- Dump everything into the yeast mixture. (Photo 4)
Knead the Dough (Photos 5-6)
- Mix by hand at medium-high speed using a dough hook, until all the ingredients are combined.
- Then add 3 1/2 flour cups of flour, spices, and grated orange. Continue mixing dough and stop when the dough doesn’t stick to the sides or bottom of the bowl when kneading. Add additional flour (if needed) to make a soft dough. If kneading by hand, turn dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 6 minutes,
- Then add the raisins. Continue kneading for another 2 minutes or more if you want airy buns. Or you may carry out this same process within a standard mixer with a dough hook.
- Place bun dough in a greased large bowl. Cover loosely with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled. Punch the dough down. (Photos 7-8)
Shape into balls
- At this point, the dough may be divided into 12 equal pieces. Shape into balls. Place in greased 12-inch skillet, 9×13 baking pan, or baking sheet. (Photo 9)
Make the Flour Paste (Photos 10-11)
- Mix the flour and sugar with water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste.
- Create crosses: Spoon the paste into a piping bag Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Let it rise for about 15 -20mins until risen. You may refrigerate before baking for up to 24 hours
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the baking pan.
Make the Glaze
- Combine milk and sugar and brush buns, let them cool. Delicious when served warm. After that, take them out and brush the glaze over them, and presto!!! It’s ready to enjoy with your loved ones.
Watch How to Make it
Hot Cross Buns Recipe
- 1 package 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons Warm water 105F- 115 F
- 1 cup (230 grams, 240 ml) milk
- 4 ounce (114 gram) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (75 grams) sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 3/4 cups (445grams or more) all-purpose flour
- ¾ -1 cup (150 grams) raisins/currants
- 1 tablespoon grated orange
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice) 1/2 teaspoon each
- 1- cup (120grams) flour or more
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon water (adjust to thick consistency)
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon warm milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- In a standing mixer or large bowl combine 2 tablespoons lukewarm water and yeast. Let it sit until dissolve for about 5 minutes. Mix for about a minute.
- Meanwhile in a microwave safe medium bowl, combine milk, with the butter pieces, sugar, salt and microwave for about a minute. Stir until everything is melted.
- Lightly whisk in the egg to the butter mixture (if the mixture is too hot let it cool to a warm to prevent eggs from curding.)
- Dump everything into the yeast mixture.
- Mix by hand or on medium high speed using dough hook until all the ingredients are combined.
- Then add 3 1/2 flour cups of flour, spices and grated orange. Continue mixing dough and stop when the dough doesn’t stick to the sides or bottom of the bowl when kneading.
- Add additional flour (if needed) to make soft dough.
- If kneading by hand, turn dough on lightly floured surface and knead for about 6 minutes, then add the raisins, continue kneading for another 2 minutes or more if you want airy buns. Or you may carry out this same process with in a standard mixer with a dough hook
- Place bun dough in a greased large bowl. Cover loosely with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled. Punch the dough down.
- At this point the dough maybe divided into 12 equal pieces. Shape into balls. Place in greased 12-inch skillet, 9x13 baking pan or baking sheet.
- Mix the flour and sugar with water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon paste into a piping bag Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Let it rise for about 15 -20mins until risen.
- You may refrigerate before baking for up to 24 hours
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from the baking pan
- Combine milk and sugar and brush buns, let it cool. Delicious when served warm
This was 1st posted on March 2017.