Easter treat: Here is how to make the perfect hot cross buns

Hot cross buns are a traditional Easter treat, often enjoyed warm with a cup of tea or coffee. Here is a detailed recipe to make them from scratch:


For the buns:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 cups warm milk (around 110°F or 45°C)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup raisins or currants
  • Zest of 1 orange (optional)

For the cross topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4-5 tablespoons water

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon water


1. Prepare the dough:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, salt, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together warm milk, melted butter, and egg.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Stir until a soft dough forms.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-1.5 hours, or until doubled in size.

2. Form the buns:

  1. After the dough has risen, punch it down to release air bubbles. Knead in the raisins or currants and orange zest, if using any of these.
  2. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and shape each into a smooth ball.
  3. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one.
  4. Cover the buns with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise again for about 30-45 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.

3. Preheat and prepare toppings:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour and enough water to form a thick paste for the cross topping.
  3. Transfer the paste to a piping bag or a small plastic bag with a corner snipped off.

4. Add cross topping:

  1. Once the buns have risen, pipe a cross shape onto the top of each bun with the flour paste.

5. Bake the buns:

  1. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.
  2. Remove from the oven and transfer the buns to a wire rack to cool slightly.

6. Glaze the buns:

  1. While the buns are still warm, prepare the glaze by heating the apricot jam with water in a small saucepan over low heat until it becomes liquid.
  2. Brush the glaze over the warm buns.

7. Serve:

  1. Allow the buns to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy them warm or at room temperature with butter.

These hot cross buns are best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in an airtight container for a few days. You can also freeze them for longer storage and reheat before serving. Enjoy the delightful aroma and taste of these homemade treats this Easter season.


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