Hot cross buns are a popular Easter treat that have been around since the Middle Ages. They are sweet, spiced buns made with flour, butter and yeast.
Hot cross buns are often decorated with a white icing cross on top and served warm or toasted. They are typically eaten as part of a traditional Easter breakfast or dessert but can be enjoyed year-round. Here is a recipe for you…
Ingredients for the buns
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon of active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of raisins or currants (I’ve been on a blackcurrant kick recently with things like tarts and compotes so I would go with them as the tartness is a nice contrast to the sweet bread).
- 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup of whole milk, warmed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup of warm water
Ingredients for the cross
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 4-5 tablespoons of water
Ingredients for the glaze
- 1/4 cup of apricot jam or marmalade
- 1 tablespoon of water
Instructions for baking
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Stir in the raisins.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, warm milk, eggs, and warm water.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until a shaggy dough forms.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes by hand or 5-7 minutes using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place them in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Cover the dish with the towel and let the buns rise again for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water to make a paste for the cross. Spoon the paste into a piping bag or a plastic bag with a small hole cut in one corner, and pipe crosses onto the top of each bun.
- Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown on top.
- While the buns are baking, make the glaze by heating the apricot jam or marmalade and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the jam is melted and smooth.
- Remove the buns from the oven and brush them with the glaze while they’re still warm.
- Serve the buns warm or at room temperature, and enjoy!
Here is a pro tip for you – if you don’t have as much time on your hands, there is a way to skip all the way and just use frozen bread dough. There are frozen food suppliers that offer this product for a wholesale price.
It is an increasingly popular option for many commercial bakers. It offers advantages over traditional methods of making bread, such as being easy to store and use, having a longer shelf life, and being able to save time in the kitchen.
You can make hot cross buns without having to go through the entire process of kneading and rising dough from scratch.
Something to pair with…
Hot cross buns are typically eaten as a breakfast or snack item, but they can also be served as a dessert or afternoon tea treat. Here are a few suggestions for what to serve with hot cross buns:
- butter or jam
- a slice of sharp cheddar or a soft cheese like brie
- tea or coffee
- fruits such as apples, pears, or berries
- whipped cream
- ice cream.
Lastly, as an alternative, here is a recipe for vegan hot cross buns in case you need to offer a variety in your bakery or cafe business.
Before we end…
As the season is fast approaching, you will most likely have a demand for hot cross buns in your bakery. Hot cross buns are often served during the Easter holiday as a sweet treat and symbol hope.
These buns are made with ingredients like dried fruits that give them their distinct flavour and aroma. They can be enjoyed by themselves or with butter, jam, or cheese. From their history to their delicious taste, it’s no wonder why hot cross buns remain one of the most popular holiday treats around the world.