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Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Easter Holidays are almost here! Looking for a fun and yummy activity to keep the kids busy? Looking for a project for a rainy day? Looking for something delicious that you can make by hand?

Not much beats a freshly baked hot cross bun! The homely cinnamon-spicy smell of this traditional recipe - while they bake is worth the effort alone! Perfect to get the kids involved- with a bit of activity and then breaks followed by more activity- it's a fantastic to keep little ones engaged throughout the morning.

What You Need:

  • 3 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast (9 grams)

  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar (superfine sugar)

  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk, warm

  • 4 1/4 cups (640g) bread flour (or plain / all purpose)

  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder

  • 2 tsp All Spice

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 1/2 cups (210g) sultanas

  • 1 - 2 oranges, zest only

  • 50g / 3.5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 1 egg

  • For dusting your work surface- 1/4 cup (35g) Extra bread flour

  • 1/2 cup (75g) flour

  • 5 tbsp water


What To Do:

  • Place flour, yeast, sugar, all spice, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Briefly mix with stand mixer** fitted with a dough hook**.

  • Add butter, milk, egg, sultanas and zest.

  • Standmixer: Mix until a smooth elastic dough forms - 5 minutes on Speed 2 of standmixer. After 1 minute, add extra flour if required, just enough so dough comes away from side of bowl when mixing and doesn't stick terribly to your fingers. (Note 5).

  • **Hand kneading: Alternatively, dust a work surface with flour and knead by hand for 10 minutes.

  • Dough is kneaded enough when it's smooth and does not break when stretched.

RISE #1:

  • Leave dough in the bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm, wind free place to rise until doubled in size. This will take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how warm it is.


  • Line a 31.5 x 23.5 cm tray with baking paper with overhang.

  • Remove cling wrap and punch dough to deflate.

  • Dust work surface with flour, place dough on work surface, shape into a log - this will deflate the air. Cut into 12 equal pieces.

  • Take one piece and press down with palm, then use your fingers to gather into a ball, then roll the dough briefly to form a ball. This stretches the dough on one side and that's how I get a nice smooth surface.

  • Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Line them up 3 x 4.

RISE # 2:

  • Spray a piece of cling wrap lightly with oil (any), then loosely place over the tray.

  • Return tray to warm place and leaver 30 - 45 minutes, until the dough has risen by about 75% (less than double in size).

  • Partway through Rise #2, preheat oven to 180°C (all oven types).


  • Mix flour and water until a thick runny paste forms

  • Carefully apply- PRO TIP- Spoon into a round 3 mm piping bag or small ziplock bag then snip corner.

  • Remove the cling wrap and pipe crosses onto the buns. Go slow so it hugs the curves.


  • Bake for 22 minutes, or until the surface is a deep golden brown. The surface colour is the best test for this recipe.

  • Meanwhile, place jam and water in a bowl, microwave for 30 seconds. Mix to combine.

  • Remove buns from oven. Use baking paper overhang to lift buns onto a cooling rack.

  • Brush with jam mixture while warm. Allow to cool to warm before serving.

Best enjoyed with friends, family, and lashings of butter!


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