Holidays | Small Plates to Share

Hot Cross Buns

Here is a spiced sweet bread with fruit that was originally baked in Britain for Good Friday.  They are so popular that now they are made throughout Lent in a large swath of the English-speaking world.


  • Macerated Fruit
  • ¾ cups raisins
  • ¾ cups dried currants
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Buns
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cup bread flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope of instant yeast
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup room temperature milk (360 grams)
  • ½ cup yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup softened butter (60 grams)
  • Cross
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup water
  • Sugar syrup
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar


Time: 1 hour + 2-3 hour proofing time
Yield: 9 Buns
  • Macerate the currants and raisins in the orange juice for at least an hour. Drain.
  • Mix the flours, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, allspice, sea salt, and orange zest in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add in milk, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed, until the dough wraps tightly around the hook and is no longer sticky,10-15 minutes.
  • After the dough comes together, add in the butter one tablespoon at a time. The butter should be incorporated before adding the next tablespoon.
  • Once you’ve added the butter, add in the drained fruit. Mix on medium until everything comes together, 5-7 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and leave it at room temperature for about 2 hours or until the dough has risen by half its size. The dough will be ready when you can poke it and it slowly rise back up, leaving a small indent of your finger.
  • Once the dough has risen, divide it into 9 even pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball and place it in the greased pan. Cover the pan with saran wrap and set aside for an hour to continue rising.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter an 8-inch square pan or 9-inch cake.
  • Blend the flour and water for the cross. Pipe the crosses over the buns.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until the buns are puffy and golden brown.
  • While the buns bake, combine the sugar syrup ingredients. Brush the syrup over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.
  • Cool for 15 minutes before serving with some salted butter or jam.
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