Today’s recipe is not Italian. In fact, I had never eaten Hot Cross Buns before moving to Australia 8 years ago. Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten for breakfast on Good Friday and they are marked with a cross to represent the crucifixion of Jesus. Traditionally these buns are made with lots of spices (especially cinnamon) and sultanas and/or currants, but nowadays there are so many different types available that I never know what to pick! Some are made with apples, others have chocolate and others have a coffee flavour… As I still hadn’t shared with you any recipe for Hot Cross Buns, I thought of keeping it traditional. I made cinnamon laden buns with loads of sultanas. Feel free to add any other dried fruits that you like (dried apricots or cranberries or citrus peel work really well). I like to serve these warm with some soft honey butter (recipe below), for a little extra sweetness. Enjoy and don’t forget to check out my Easter Recipe Roundup for more delicious ideas. I wish you and your loved ones a safe Easter weekend!
Hot Cross Buns with Honey Butter
The perfect Easter breakfast: home-made Hot Cross Buns with Honey Butter!
- 400 ml – 1 2/3 cups milk
- 120 gms – ½ cup unsalted butter chopped
- 750 gms – 6 cups flour
- 75 gms – ⅓ cup caster sugar
- 14 gms – 4 tsp dry yeast
- 3½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp salt
- 300 gms – 2 cups sultanas
- 1 orange zested
- 1 lemon zested
- 1 egg
- 35 gms – ¼ cup flour
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 2 or 3 tbsp water
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 125 g – ½ cup caster sugar
- 100 ml – ½ cup water
- 80 gms – 1/3 cup butter softened
- 40 gms – 2 tbsp honey
Hot Cross Buns
Put the milk and chopped butter into a measuring jar and microwave it for a few seconds, just until the butter melts. Stir and keep aside to slightly cool down.
Put the flour, sugar, yeast, spices, half of the sultanas, orange and lemon zest and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle or hook attachment. Stir to combine.
Stir in the egg, then the milk mixture.
Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Just before turning the mixer off, add the remaining sultanas and mix.
Make the dough into a ball and put it in a greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size.
Punch down the dough, divide it into 20 equal pieces, then knead each piece into a smooth ball.
Put the balls on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Make sure to leave about 1 cm – ½ inch between them.
Cover them with greased cling wrap and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
In the meantime prepare the cross paste by sifting the flour and caster sugar into a small bowl.
Put the paste into a ziploc bag and snip a tiny piece off one of the bottom corners so it can be used later as a piping bag.
Preheat the oven to 220°C – 425°F and bake the buns for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200°C – 390°F and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden.
In the meantime make the spice glaze.
Put the mixed spice, caster sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Serve warm or at room temperature with honey butter.