Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns Birdseye

Fluffy spiced fruit buns made with tangzongh


  • 600g strong white bread flour
  • 20g fresh yeast (or 10g dry instant)
  • Zest of 1 lemon, lime and orange
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 3/4 tonka bean (or 1 vanilla pod, beans scraped) – (optional)
  • 300g whole milk, warm
  • 20g water
  • 30g olive oil
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 10g fine salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, approx 60g.
  • 60g soft butter
  • 40g honey
  • 200g raisins & saltanas (I used jumbo)
  • 70g mixed peel
  • 70g cranberries
  • To finish:
    • 90g plain flour
    • 80g water
    • 1 small egg, beaten
    • 4-5 tbsp honey, slightly warmed

Directions (makes 12 large buns)

  1. Firstly, make the tangzongh*; in a small saucepan, weigh 60g of the flour, 110g of the milk and 20g water and cook on a medium heat constantly whisking till thick. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a jug or small bowl, add the rest of the warm milk and fresh/dry yeast; stir until all the yeast is incorporated and leave for 5 mins. Then grate in the 3/4 tonka bean (or add the vanilla beans if using).
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook fitted, add the remainder flour, sugar, salt, zests, spices and whisk together. Add the egg, oil, honey, tonka milk and yeast mixture, tangzongh and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes.
  4. Slowly add the softened butter a teaspoon at a time and mix for a further 6-8 minutes on medium speed, or until the dough springs back to the touch and passes the windown pane test.
  5. Tip the dough out onto a clean surface and press into a rectangular shape, roughly 30x20cm. Scatter over all the fruit and fold the dough over itself. Knead for a minute to distribute the fruit evenly. Shape into a ball.
  6. Transfer to a clean bowl greased with oil and proof for 1hr-1.5hrs or until doubled in size.
  7. Prepare a large baking tin or tray with greaseproof paper or a silicone mat.
  8. Weigh the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces. The dough will be a little wet/tacky – dust the surface lightly with flour and repeat as required.
  9. Flatten each piece of dough slightly and bring the outside corners into the centre of the dough making a ball shape. Turn the dough over (seam side down) and using your hand like a claw, gently roll into a tighter ball. Try to make sure there is no fruit exposed on the top or side of the buns, as they may burn during cooking.
  10. Place all the balls onto the prepared tin or tray in rows of 3 by 4. Cover lightly with cling film and proof for 1-2hrs, or until doubled in size.
  11. Pre-heat the oven to 190c fan or 210c oven.
  12. Using the 1 small egg, egg wash the proofed buns.
  13. Put the 90g plain flour in a small bowl, add the water in a few additions and beat into a smooth paste. Transfer into a piping bag and pipe a cross over each of the buns.
  14. Bake for 18-22 mins or until golden brown (if you have a temperature probe the internal temperateure should reach 190f or 87c). Rotate the baking tray halfway if required.
  15. Once removed from the oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes before glazing with the honey.
  16. Enjoy warm with butter.


*Tangzongh is pre-gelatinized flour made by heating a small portion of the flour and milk (sometimes water). This is key to making light and fluffy bread.

You can substitute the fruit for apricots, glace cherries, dates or even chocolate etc.

These buns keep well for 4-5 days in an airtight container or wrapped in cling film. Best fresh on the day, but thereafter best toasted or re-heated in the oven wrapped in foil (180c fan for 15 minutes).

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Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License