Perfect Hot Cross Buns

Last year I made some bread rolls and people started asking for my recipe, making my recipe and sharing my recipe. “Jane Yee’s bread rolls” became a weird sort of thing on Snapchat and Instagram and now, well, now it’s Easter.

With Easter comes Hot Cross Buns, and there’s nothing like seasonal bread product to get the recipe requests rolling in.

So here you go, you asked for it, my Hot Cross Bun recipe. It’s been a work in progress for the past few weeks but I’ve got it to a point that I’m really happy with the result, and I hope you are too.

You should know that I like my HCBs with plenty of fruit. I just use sultanas and orange zest because I’m not crazy about peel, but you can adjust to whatever you want fruit-wise – chocolate is a perfectly acceptable fruit btw. I also like my HCBs to be packed with spice, otherwise you’ve just got a bread roll with fruit in it, y’know?

As with my regular rolls, I make the dough in my Thermomix (click here to jump straight to the Thermie method), but I’ve included instructions for non-thermies too because I’m all about inclusion.

Notes on Yeast

Using Surebake Yeast


The bread improvers in Edmonds Surebake yeast help to speed up the rising time and I just find it gives a really nice fluffy result. 

Using Active Yeast + Improver


If you’re in a territory that has access to bread improver, use 3tsp of active yeast with 3tsp of improver in place of the Surebake and follow the recipe above.

Using Active Yeast only


If you’re just using active yeast, you’ll only need 3tsp and then use this variation of the recipe:
Mix the yeast and tepid water together with a teaspoon of sugar and leave for a five-ten minutes. The mixture should be frothy. You will also want to rest the dough in the oiled bowl until it doubles in size (instead of the prescribed 20 minutes) before knocking down and shaping into buns.

No Thermomix? No problem

I make the dough in my Thermomix, but you can just as easily make it using a dough hook on your cake mixer (use a low speed and kneading time will be less than thermomix, keep a close eye on it) or go old school and knead by hand. I’ve used all of these methods with great results. 

PERFECT HOT CROSS BUNS

Standard Method

Ingredients:

  • 400g Sultanas
  • 100ml tepid water
  • 7tsp Edmonds Surebake yeast (see notes on yeast above)
  • 4 Cups high grade flour
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • Pepper & Me That Sweet Grind to taste (optional)
  • Pinch salt
  • 200 ml milk
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of one orange
  • Extra flour and chilled water for crosses
  • Extra sugar and hot water for glaze

Soak sultanas in a bowl of hot water and set aside

Put water and yeast into a large bowl and mix well

Add remaining ingredients in the above order and combine until dough comes together

Transfer dough to oiled or floured surface, or into your stand mixer with dough hook. Knead until smooth and stretchy. When it has reached this point drain the sultanas and knead them into dough by hand.  The dough will be stickier than regular bread dough, this is normal, sprinkle a little flour on your hands to help with handling the dough if necessary.

Pop dough into an oiled bowl, cover and rest for 20 minutes.

Turn dough out and knock down (punch the dough to remove gasses)

Weigh into equal parts – I make 15 buns – and shape into balls. Roll the balls until you have a nice smooth shape

Evenly space balls in an oiled and floured baking dish with a small space between each

Leave rolls to prove in warm place – I pop mine in the oven (turned off) with a bowl of steaming water beneath. If you are placing in a dry heat, spray tops of rolls with water and cover with a tea towel so they don’t dry out

When the rolls have roughly doubled in size pipe crosses made from flour and chilled water mixed together into a smooth paste.

Place them in a preheated oven (180°C) and bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown

While the buns are still hot, glaze with syrup made from sugar and hot water mixed together in equal parts.


Thermomix Method:

Ingredients:

  • 400g Sultanas
  • 100g tepid water
  • 7tsp Edmonds Surebake yeast**
  • 600g high grade flour
  • 75g sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • Pepper & Me That Sweet Grind to taste (optional)
  • Pinch salt
  • 200g milk
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of one orange
  • Lightly beaten egg and splash of milk for brushing rolls
  • Extra flour and chilled water for crosses
  • Extra sugar and hot water for glaze

Soak sultanas in a bowl of hot water and set aside

Put water and yeast into bowl and mix 5 sec / speed 3

Add remaining ingredients and mix 20 sec / speed 3

Knead dough for 10 mins / dough function

Transfer the dough to an oiled or floured surface.

Drain the sultanas and knead them into dough by hand.  The dough will be stickier than regular bread dough, this is normal, sprinkle a little flour on your hands to help with handling the dough if necessary.

Pop dough into an oiled bowl, cover and rest for 20 minutes

Turn dough out and knock down (punch the dough to remove gasses)

Weigh into equal parts – I make 15 rolls – and shape into balls. Roll the balls until you have a nice smooth shape

Evenly space balls in an oiled and floured baking dish with a small space between each

Leave rolls to prove in warm place – I pop mine in the oven (turned off) with a bowl of steaming water beneath. If you are placing in a dry heat, spray tops of rolls with water and cover with a tea towel so they don’t dry out.

When the rolls have roughly doubled in size, brush them with an egg wash and then pipe crosses made from flour and chilled water mixed together into a smooth paste.

Place them in a preheated oven (180°C) and bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown

While the buns are still hot, glaze with syrup made from sugar and hot water mixed together in equal parts.

I’d love to see any Hot Cross Buns made using this recipe, so please tag me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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