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Hot Cross Buns

Easter Baking

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Yield: 12 buns (about 70 g each)


  • Mix/ferment sponge: 40 minutes
  • Mix final dough: 15 minutes
  • First fermentation: 1 hour, with a fold at 30 minutes
  • Divide and shape: 10 minutes
  • Proof: 1 hour
  • Pipe crosses: 10 minutes
  • Bake: 15 minutes
  • Glaze: 5 minutes

Sponge Ingredients:

  • 37 g Strong Bread Flour
  • 190 g milk at about 100 degrees F   See simple formula below for arriving at the desired dough temperature.
  • 9 g sugar
  • 9 g instant yeast or 22g Fresh Yeast

Final Dough Ingredients:

  • 450 g Strong Bread Flour
  • 65 g butter, softened
  • 55 g sugar
  • 50 g (1 whole) egg
  • 3 g (1/2 t.) salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground mixed spice
  • 30 g water
  • 150g dried mixed fruit

Piping Paste Ingredients:

  • 170 g pastry flour
  • 50 g vegetable oil
  • 120 g water

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 60 g sugar
  • 60 g water

Dough Temperature formula: Take the desired dough temperature that you require and double it, then subtract the temperature of the flour to arrive at the temperature of the added liquids to be added. (Water or in this case Milk.)   This formula will only work however if using the Fahrenheit scale. (Not Centigrade)

i.e.    Desired dough temp.  =  76F  Double this to obtain 152F  then take away your flour temp.  lets say in this example to make it easy 52F.   Therfore your water/milk temp needs to be 100F to achieve your desired dough temp.  Although an approximate formula it works reasonably well.



  1. For the sponge, combine milk and yeast in a medium bowl. Whisk in flour and sugar. The mixture will be very liquid. Cover and let rest for about30 – 40 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (kitchen aid or similar) with beater paddle, mix final dough flour, whole wheat flour, and softened butter until the butter is evenly distributed through the flour.
  3. Add egg, sugar, spices, and salt. Continue to mix until combined. The mixture will be quite dry at this point.
  4. Replace the beater with the dough hook. Add the sponge and start mixing in low speed. Add water as needed to make a very soft dough (you may not need any, depending on water absorption characteristics of the flour your using) but not too sticky and mix until well combined, about 3 minutes. Mix on medium speed, occasionally scraping the dough down the sides of the bowl. When the dough starts to leave the sides and come together around the dough hook, the gluten should have reached a medium level of development. (About 10mins if hand kneading. )
  5. Add the mixed fruit & mix on low speed just until they are evenly distributed through the dough.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, covered container. Ferment in a warm place for one hour, with a fold at 30 minutes.
  7. Turn the dough onto an unfloured work bench and divide it into 12 pieces (about 72 g each).
  8. Lightly degas each piece of dough and tuck the edges under to form a loose ball. To tighten the ball, place it on the counter with your cupped hand loosely around it, and move your hand in a tight circle several times.
  9. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press them lightly with your palm to flatten them a bit.
  10. Cover and proof in a warm place for about an hour.
  11. While the buns proof, make the glaze. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  12. Now make the piping paste. Sift the pastry flour and combine it with the vegetable oil. Slowly add water, stirring well after each addition, until the mixture reaches the consistency of very thick glue. Don’t make it so thin that it runs, but if it is too thick it will be difficult to pipe.
  13. Preheat the oven to 225c
  14. When the buns are finished proofing, pipe the crosses onto them using a piping bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round nozzle.
  15. Load the tray of buns into the centre of the oven & then lower temp of oven to 200c   They will take about 15mins to bake.  Then immediately they are removed from the oven brush over the sugar glaze for a traditional finish.  Best eaten slightly warm with good butter.


Added by: Shiretor

Tags: Buns

Add comment
Great taste but concerns about the recipe
I have tried this 3 times over the Easter weekend with good results BUT the recipe leaves me confused. When making the final dough the instruction say to add the main dough flour AND the whole wheat flour but there is no mention of whole wheat flour in the ingredients. Also, unless my maths are failing me, dividing the total dough weight by 12 gives about 86 grams (not 72) so am I adding something I shouldn't?

Stephen Ackland - Steve A 04 April 2013


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