Light and fluffy Hot Cross Buns with delicious spices and raisins. Recipe with step-by-step photos.
For the Hot Cross Buns
For the crosses
For the glaze
Making the dough
Shaping the buns
Baking the Hot Cross Buns
DIFFERENT TYPES OF YEAST
* Please note that there is a difference between instant yeast (also called instant dried yeast or fast-action dried yeast) and dried yeast (also called active dry yeast). If you are not sure what type of yeast you have, please check the packaging for instructions on how to use the yeast.
* With instant yeast, you can add it directly to the flour mixture without having to activate it first.
* If you do not have instant yeast, I would suggest using the same amount of dried yeast. In which case, omit the milk from the first step, and instead warm it separately until it is blood temperature (about 37°C or 98°F). Add the dried yeast to the warm milk and set it aside for about 5 minutes until it is frothy. Add this yeast mixture in step 6 when you are also mixing in the butter mixture. As a guide, please refer to my recipe for Fruit Loaf to see the steps involved in using dried yeast.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF FLOUR
* Bread flour contains 11-13% protein content, which is required to develop more gluten in the dough, which in turn gives yeasted bread a nice, chewy texture.
* If you do not have strong white bread flour, plain flour (all-purpose flour) also works well in this recipe. The texture will be a little softer and less bread-like, but the difference is otherwise not very noticeable.
* For Swiss readers, I use Zopfmehl (or farine pour tresse) when making bread and enriched dough.
PROOFING THE DOUGH
Dough needs a warm environment for the yeast to activate and cause the dough to rise. If you don’t have a warm place in your home, try one of the following ideas:
* In the oven with the oven light switched on (works only for some ovens).
* In the oven with a tray of boiling water on the bottom shelf.
* In the oven at a low temperature of about 25-30°C (77-86°F).
* On the open oven door, with the oven turned on at 100°C (212°F).
You can also play around with the dried fruit content, or omit it completely for just a plain spiced bun.
MAKING SMALLER BUNS FOR KIDS
This recipe produces 12 large buns. You could also divide the dough into 15 portions to produce slightly smaller buns which are more kid-friendly.
Hot Cross Buns are best eaten the day they are made. Any leftover hot cross buns can be stored in the freezer and toasted before serving.
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.