These iconic Easter buns are enjoyed in the UK, Australia, and, now, your home kitchen. Studded with sultanas and candied mixed peel, these aromatic buns have the signature white cross design paired with a shiny glazed top for a spring bake that is both sweet and symbolic.
Classic Hot Cross Buns
- 1½ cups (375 grams) warm milk (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
- 1 tablespoon (9 grams) active dry yeast
- ½ cup (110 grams) castor (superfine) sugar, divided
- 5⅔ cups (710 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour, sifted and divided
- 1½ cups (240 grams) golden raisins
- ⅓ cup (55 grams) candied mixed peel (optional)
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (52 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- 2 teaspoons (4 grams) mixed spice*
- 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup (80 grams) water
- Glaze (recipe follows)
- Unsalted butter, to serve
- Place milk, yeast, and 2 teaspoons (8 grams) castor sugar in a large bowl, and set aside for 5 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, indicating that the yeast is active. Add 5 cups (635 grams) flour, golden raisins, candied mixed peel (if using), melted butter, egg, mixed spice, cinnamon, and remaining castor sugar to yeast mixture, and mix until a sticky dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes, or until elastic.
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth, and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Divide dough into 12 pieces (about 123 grams each), and roll into balls. Arrange dough balls in a lightly greased 9-inch (22-centimeter) square baking pan lined with parchment paper. Cover with a damp cloth, and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until risen.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Place ⅓ cup (80 grams) water and remaining ½ cup (75 grams) flour in a bowl, and stir to combine. Place in a piping bag or a plastic bag with one corner snipped off, and pipe crosses on buns.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until deep golden brown and springy to touch, covering buns to prevent excess browning if necessary. Brush warm Glaze onto hot buns. Serve warm with butter.
*Mixed spice, available at amazon.com, is a traditional Australian spice mix. You can substitute with pumpkin pie spice or make your own mixed spice. Stir together 1 tablespoon (6 grams) ground allspice, 1 tablespoon (6 grams) ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon (6 grams) ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground ginger, ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cloves, and ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground coriander.
- ¼ cup (60 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water, divided
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) gelatin powder
- ½ cup (110 grams) castor (superfine) sugar
- Place 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water in a small bowl and sprinkle with gelatin. Set aside for 1 to 2 minutes, or until gelatin is dissolved. Set aside.
- Place sugar and remaining ¼ cup (60 grams) water in a small saucepan over low heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Use a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals from sides of pan. Add gelatin mixture, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until gelatin is dissolved. Use immediately.