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Hot Cross Buns (Traditional)

Yeast activated sweet bun with sultanas and orange peel


  • 2 sachets dried yeast - (16mg)

  • 1/4 cup caster sugar

  • 1½ cups warm milk - nuke 1 cup in microwave for 1 min. then add ½ cup cold milk from fridge - needs to be tepid (neither hot nor cold)

  • 4 cups plain flour

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 60g butter - at room temperature

  • 1 egg - lightly beaten

  • 3/4 cup sultanas

  • 1/4 cup mixed peel

  • Flour Paste

  • 6Tblsp Plain flour

  • 1 Tblsp caster sugar

  • 4 Tblsp hot water

  • Glaze

  • 2 Tbls caster sugar

  • 2 Tblsp boiling water


  • 1.

    Combine the yeast, sugar and tepid milk in a bowl, cover with cling wrap.

  • 2.

    Stand in a warm place (approx 10 mins) until mixture foams and froths.

  • 3.

    Sift flour and spices into a large bowl.

  • 4.

    Rub in butter using a broad bladed knife then finish with fingertips.

  • 5.

    Toss the fruit through the flour, to coat the fruit.

  • 6.

    Stir in yeast/sugar/milk micture, the lightly beaten egg and mix to a sticky dough.

  • 7.

    Cover with cling wrap and stand in a warm place for 45-60 minutes until dough has doubled in size.

  • 8.

    Grease a square, deep sided cake pan (20-25cm)

  • 9.

    Knock down the dough and gently knead on a lightly floured surface for approximately 5 minutes until dough is smooth and silky.

  • 10.

    Cut dough in half, knead lightly, cut each half in half again and continue until you have 16 balls of dough.

  • 11.

    Place balls into greased cooking pan, cover with cling wrap and stand in a warm place for 10-15 minutes until the dough has risen to the top. 4 x 4 balls in each row

  • 12.

    To make the flour paste, combine the flour sugar and water to form a thick paste. Cover with cling wrap, or place into piping bag with medium sized round nozzle attached.

  • 13.

    Either pipe or drizzle flour paste into 'cross' shape on top of each bun - keep piping fluid by doing four at a time, first in one direction then rotate the pan and complete the cross.

  • 14.

    Preheat oven to 200DegC

  • 15.

    When buns have risen bake for 20-25 minutes.

  • 16.

    Turn out onto tea towel then place wire rack on top, invert and cool (top side up).

  • 17.

    Mix caster sugar with boiling water and brush generously over each bun while still warm

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Posted by hungry girlReport
Looks fantasic Philippa ...
Posted by Philippa WightmanReport
Thanks Libby, they were so light & fluffy but utterly delicious. Will definitely be making these again.
Posted by Huda Abu HamdiaReport
lovelylove lovely .. love it dear :-)
Posted by redgiraffeReport
I made these this afternoon with my children - they were lovely (especially with butter!) and so easy to make.
*A couple of tweaks (and these are entirely down to personal preference - the recipe is great, Philippa :-)) I prefer a little more sugar & spice, so next time I'm going to double the spice quantities and add just a little more sugar. Oh, and I also added a pinch of salt to the dough, and I kneaded it after the first mix.
Looking forward to toasting the leftovers tomorrow morning. Thanks for posting!