Hot Cross Buns


Finished PhotoHot Cross Buns are traditionally made during Lent.  Full of spices and raisins with a cross on top of the rolls, they are eagerly awaited during the year.  Hot cross buns are a welcome and tasty staple of Lent.   According to Wikipedia: “English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or mold during the subsequent year.”  Well, in my house they won’t last that long!

If you’ve never baked with a product by Sun-Maid called bakers raisins, you’ve missed the perfect raisin for baking.  They are moist and plump and don’t need any soaking to use.  A friend of mine introduced me a few years ago and I have been a fan every since.  I have included instructions for regular raisins that should be soaked to plump them before using in the Hot Cross Buns.  Two kinds of raisins


Regular raisins are on the left. The bakers raisins are on the right.

These Hot Cross Buns use the same basic dough used in the Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  A generous amount of spices and raisins make these easy buns really simple to make.

Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients1 recipe Basic Dough as called for (substituting the flour below) – see Cinnamon Raisin Bread
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup very hot water, optional
3 1/4 cup flour (490 grams)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

If using regular raisins, not the bakers version, combine the raisins in the hot water for 20 to 30 minutes before starting the dough.  

If soaking the raisins, drain well and reserve the water.  Squeeze excess water from raisins.  Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup water from raisins.

Add the spices and salt to the flour. Continue as directed in Basic Sweet Dough recipe.  Add raisins at end of beating time.

Cover and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled.  Dough CoveredRisen DoughPunch down and use immediately or cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with cooking spray.

Roll the dough into a log.
Dough Rolleld into a Log

Divide in half.Dough cut in halfThen in quarters.Dough cut into quartersCut each quarter into three pieces, making 12 rolls.Sough cut into 12 pieces

With a lightly floured hand,Lightly floured hand shape into round balls by pulling all the edges of dough underneath and squeezing them together. Shaping 1Shaping 2Shaping 3Shaping 4Shaping 5Shaping 6Shaping 7 Place the ball on the work table right side up and cup your hand over and around it; Cupped hand Hand covering dough ballshape by rolling the dough counter-clockwise in your cupped hand. Shaped roll Place on baking sheet.  Shaped rolls on trayCover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.Rolls covered on tray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool completely and drizzle with Vanilla Glaze (below).

Vanilla Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted after measuring  (200 grams or 7 ounces)
3 tablespoons butter, melted (45 grams or 1 3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk

Mix all the ingredients for the glaze starting with 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk. Add the remainder of the milk if too thick. Make a cross on each roll.Cross one wayCross the other way

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4 thoughts on “Hot Cross Buns

  1. Kim

    Helen, so I am to use the cinnamon raisin bread recipe but instead of using 3 cups bread flour, use 3 1/4 cup all purpose for these rolls?

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