Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hot Cross Cookies?

At home we always have Hot Cross Buns  around Easter and I definitely haven't seen any here anywhere. Apparently there's 'Easter Bread' but I haven't seen that either. Now, I know Easter's over, but I really missed having these and we ran out of time to try making them over the Easter weekend itself, so here it is now.

My friends and roommates I shared with had never seen/had a hot cross bun before and immediately referred to them as cookies, which is just as well since I deflated them just before putting them in the oven and they never recovered from it. I'm gradually improving my ability to work with yeast and the lesson I've learnt this time is: even if you read the word 'slash' in a recipe, they probably don't mean for you to take a knife to your nicely risen buns - the air goes out of them like a balloon that's been stabbed! 

Like I said, it's for the best no one knew hot cross buns so they couldn't know that they were supposed to be a bit lighter... Even so, they were still very tasty.

This recipe is adapted from The little loaf. She's hosting April's Fresh From the Oven Challenge. The challenge is to make Hot Cross Buns this month and that's what I did. Fresh From the Oven is a monthly baking challenge that I wanted to join earlier when I saw they were making bagels and croissants, but finally got around to it this time! Those goodies will have to be a project on my own some other day.

Hot Cross Buns

Yields: Baker's Dozen (13 Buns)


For the dough:
- 225g cake flour
- 225g wholewheat flour
- 1 package (7g) dried yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. coriander
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
- 50g butter (unsalted)
- 250ml milk
- Zest of half an orange (I used a lemon)
- 1 large free range egg
- 1 packed cup raisins/sultanas 
(depends what you have/prefer)
- 85g mixed candied fruit (my package had 100g and I threw the extra 15 in too)

For the crosses:
- 50g (3.5 Tbsp.) flour                            
- Around 4 Tbsp. water

For the glaze:  
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. honey


1. In a large bowl, stir together the 2 flours, yeast, salt and spices.

2. In a small pot, melt the butter. Remove from heat and stir in the milk. Stir in zest and beat in the egg.

3. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the lukewarm milk mixture. Combine until a soft dough forms.

4. Tip dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 min. or until it reaches a stretchy, elastic consistency.

5. Flatten the dough out somewhat, sprinkle with the fruits, then knead again until all the pieces are well distributed throughout the dough.

I love that this looks like a massive monster cookie!
6. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for about 1 hour. In this time the dough should approximately double in size.

7. Return the dough to a floured surface and pat it down a bit. Divide into 13 pieces of about 80g each. Shape each portion into a ball and place on a lined baking sheet spacing them out a bit (about 2cm/1" apart).

8. Cover the tray with a tea towel and set aside again to rise for about 40 min.

9. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

10. Prepare the glaze by combining the flour and approximately 4 Tbsp. water, adjusting if necessary until a thick paste forms.

11. Pipe or use a spoon to carefully draw crosses with the paste across each bun. (I tried using the edge of a knife but found the spoon to be more effective and easier to control).

12. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 min. or until golden brown.

13. Heat the honey with the maple syrup and brush over the buns once they are out of the oven.



  1. Your buns look beautiful! Thanks for joining in the challenge :-)

    1. Thank you for stopping by to check out my buns! I really enjoyed the challenge and look forward to more to come!

  2. Thank you for joinging us this month. I'm glad you enjoyed the challenge and these look great.

    1. Thank you! I'm happy I got the push to make these. Although I am a little jealous at the texture of some of the other entrants...

  3. The crosses look really nice - I'm sure the buns were delicious.

    1. You are so right, they were tasty! Thanks a lot!