This hot cross buns recipe will help you make extremely fluffy, soft and delicious, spiced hot cross buns glazed with light apricot jam.
What are hot cross buns?
A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins, marked with a cross on the top, and traditionally eaten on Good Friday.
Hot cross buns are an Easter staple in many parts of the world, especially in Australia and the United Kingdom.
What is the significance of hot cross buns?
It represents the crucifixion of Jesus, and the spices inside signify the spices used to embalm him at his burial.
What does a hot cross bun taste like?
These Hot cross buns are ultra soft and fluffy and fairly sweet. Tastes a little bit like our cinnamon raisin swirl bread, but in the form of dinner roll.
This hot cross buns have a close similarity (because of the added spices and the the dy fruits ) to our Rich fruit cake for christmas.
Just like the fruit cake, we can use dry fruits of your choice and beautiful aroma of spices take this to the next level.
Hot cross buns :Ingredients
For the bread
- All-purpose flour :325 g (2 and 1/2 cup)
- Whole milk :150 ml (1/2 cup +2 tbsp)
- Granulated sugar :50g or 1/4 cup
- Instant yeast : 2 tsp or Active dry yeast :2 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon Powder :1/2 tsp
- Ground All spices :1/2 tsp
- Salt:3/4 tsp
- Egg :1
- Unsalted butter :42.5 g or 3 tbsp
- Raisins : 3/4 cup or 125 g
- Vanilla extract :1 tsp
- Zest of half of an orange.
For the cross
- Flour :1/2 cup
- Water:1/2 cup -2 tbsp
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon warm water
We can also use sugar syrup as glaze.So make the sugar syrup by heating the sugar with the water in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to boil the syrup for about another minute or until syrup thickens very slightly. Set aside.
How to make Hot Cross Buns
We can make hot cross buns in five simple steps
The base for these classic hot cross buns is my Quick and Easy Dinner Rolls Recipe, another really popular recipe on my blog.
1.Prepare the dough
Into a bowl, add in all the dry ingredients;Flour,salt,yeast,spice powder, and sugar.
Whisk them together, so that everything is evenly distributed in the flour.
And keep it aside.
In another bowl, add the milk, egg and softened unsalted butter.
Now combine the wet and dry ingredients using the rear of a wooden spoon.
It is less messy and so easy to blend the ingredients in this way.
Transfer the dough onto a clean work surface.
Knead the dough until we get a smooth dough.
If you are using a stand mixer then it will be so much easier for you to knead the dough.Use the dough hook attachment and start kneading at low speed and then increase the speed.Shop Online at the Official Site of KitchenAid.com
In this recipe,I haven’t used any extra flour or any extra water while kneading.
While making bread, we dont need to be very precise on the measurements.but we should know the consisitency of our final dough.
At first, when we start to knead the dough,it will be very sticky to handle.But it will all come together in a few minutes of kneading.If your dough is still very sticky even after kneading for 4-5 minutes, you can add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. The consistency of our dough may differ according to the type of flour, or according to the size of egg we use etc.
So just knead the dough until you get a dough which is very soft and elastic..and which will not be sticky but still tacky to the touch.we can feel that resistance when we take back our finger after touching the surface of dough.
When should we add the dried fruits to the dough?
I prefer to add raisins, mixed peel and other additions to the dough after the first proofing.
The smoother the dough, the better the gluten structure. And the better the gluten structure, the more air it can trap, resulting in soft, fluffy buns and bread rolls.
If we add raisins and other additions to the dough at the beginning, it will interrupt while kneading the dough and it will make it difficult to develop the gluten…which can result intense and heavy buns.
Let the dough sit and rise.In about 1 hour, the dough will get doubled in size.This rising time may vary according to the warmth of the place where the bowl is placed.
The warmer the environment, the faster the dough will rise.In cold environment,we may need to wait for another half an hour.
Do we need to soak the dry fruits before adding it into the dough?
It is not necessary to do so.But i prefer to soak the dry fruits in hot water for around 15 minutes before we add into the dough.This will make the raisins soft and plump.
3.Divide and Shape the dough
So after 1 hour,transfer the proofed dough onto a clean work surface.
Degas the dough and then add in the raisins or currants or any other dried fruits into the dough.Mix them together so that the dry fruits get distributed evenly.
Now divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.
What is the best way to divide the dough into small portions?
We can divide the dough into 12 equal parts by eyeballing.But the best way that we can divide them is by weighing the dough.
Our dough will be around 752g and when divided into 12 equal pieces,each portion will be around 62g.
If our dough balls are of similar size they will bake at the same rate and will be beautiful to see.
So after dividing,tuck in the edges towards the center and roll each piece of dough into round ball.
If you see raisins pop out on the surface just push it inside or hide it underneath.
Place them on a parchment lined baking tray or onto a non stick baking tray.
Now we need the rolls to puff and rise.
Cover the rolls with a plastic film so that it won’t get dry .
Let the rolls sit and proof for 45-60 minutes or until they get doubled in size.
5.Pipe the cross
Now after the second proofing, our rolls are now doubled in size and they are ready to go into oven.
So In a small bowl, mix together flour and water until wet paste forms. Transfer runny mixture to a piping bag with a small round tip, or a small zip top plastic bag with a corner snipped off.
Pipe straight lines vertically and horizontally across risen buns to create crosses.
6.Bake the Hot Cross Buns
Bake the buns at 375 F preheated oven for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 F and continue baking for the next 12-15 minutes.
We need the buns to be cooked well by taking about 25 minutes of baking and we dont want the top of buns to be over browned.So I like to place the baking tray in the lowest rack of my oven.
I have faced the problem of the buns being doughy during my early attempts.(May be because the hot cross buns contain more raisins and dry fruits.)So i would suggest to wait for until the buns are properly baked.
7.Brush the top of buns with glaze
Remove the rolls from the oven and Brush the tops with light apricot jam (2 tbsp apricot jam+1 tbsp warm water) or sugar syrup.
I like the apricot jam glaze as it gives an extra fruity flavor to our hot cross buns.
It’s best to eat hot cross buns while they’re warm. I suggest you slice the bun half, lightly toast it, and then slather on some salted butter or whipped cream cheese on top. It’s absolutely delightful!
Watch the step by step video to see how to make hot cross buns.
Hot Cross Buns:Printable Recipe
Hot Cross Buns
For the bread
- 325 g All-purpose flour (2 and 1/2 cup)loosely packed
- 150 ml Whole milk (1/2 cup +2 tbsp)
- 50 g Granulated sugar 1/4 cup
- 2 tsp Instant yeast Active dry yeast :2 1/2 tsp
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
- 1/2 tsp Ground all spices
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Egg
- 42.5 g Unsalted softened butter 3 tbsp or melted butter
- 125 g Raisins/currants/mix 3/4 cup
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Zest of half of an Orange
For the cross
- 65 g Flour 1/2 cup
- 90 g Water 1/2 cup-2 tbsp
- 2 tbsp Apricot jam
- 1 tbsp warm water we can also use sugar syrup
PREPARE THE DOUGH
- Into a bowl add in all the dry ingeredients.Whisk them together and keep it aside.
- In another bowl.add the wet ingredients and whisk them together.
- Combine the wet and dry ingeredients together using the rear end of a wooden spoon to form a shaggy mass of dough.
- Transfer the dough on to a clean work surface and knead the dough until you get a soft and elastic dough.If you are using a standmisxer,then it will be so much easier to prepare the dough.Add the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients and Knead the dough at medium speed and then high speed using the dough hook attachment.
- Lightly oil a clean bowl and place the dough inside it.Cover it with a plastic film and let the dough sit and proof in a warm environment until it gets doubled in size.It may take 1 – 1 and half hours according to the warmth of the room.Add the soaked and drained raisins into the dough and mix them together so that raisins are evenely doistributed in the dough.
DIVIDE AND SHAPE THE DOUGH
- Divide the proofed dough into 12 equal pieces.To be more precise,each piece is 62g by weight.Shape the pieces into round balls.Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or onto a non stick baking tray.Cover them up with a plastic film and
- Let the shaped dough balls sit and rise until they are doubled in size.It may take around 45 minutes.
PIPE THE CROSS
- Mix together some flour and water fo form a thick flour batter.Transfer it on to a piping bag.Pipe cross on top of the buns
BAKE THE HOT CROSS BUNS
- Bake @ 375 F for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350F for next 12-15 minutes.
BRUSH THE TOP WITH GLAZE
- Add 1 tbsp warm water into 2 tbsp apricot jam.Brush the top of buns with light apricot jam.
- Enjoy Soft and fluffy Hot Cross Buns!
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