Hot Cross Buns for Good Friday

Hot cross buns,
Hot cross buns,
one ha’ penny,
two ha’ penny,
hot cross buns.

If you have no daughters,
give them to your sons,
one ha’ penny,
two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns

So, Easter is upon us and Lenten fasting and abstinence for those who participate is soon at an end. One of the delights of this time of year when I lived in the UK was to eat Hot Cross Buns. They are sweet, spiced buns marked with a cross to commemorate the Crucifixion.

Finally...lovely buns!

Mad Dog did an excellent post last week about the same subject, and I wish I had gone to his recipe suggestions when I first decided to make some.  I have made them here in Spain a few times and I have several recipes…but do you think I could remember which one I had used?

First of all I tried Delia Smith´s recipe – aside from deciding to make the dough in my bread maker then forgetting it was in there on a bake programme…well, the result was a hugely over risen loaf that was raw in the middle.

Oh no let me down!

Next up a Rachel Allen Recipe….they would have been good to use as missiles in a Mediaevel battle recreation.

Finally I turned to the BBC Good Food Website. Here is the original recipe, but my version is below as I found the dough a little too wet and I wanted more spices.

For the Dough

  • 300ml of full fat milk
  • 50g butter
  • 550g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 x 7g sachet of easy blend yeast
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 75g sultanas
  • Up to 100g of chopped mix peel
  • Grated zest of half a lemon and one orange
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger

For the Cross

  • 4 tablespoons of flour gradually mixed with drops of water until a thick paste is made

For the Glaze

  • 4 tablespoons of sieved, warmed apricot jam

Bring the milk almost to the boil, drop the butter in and stir until the butter has melted and then put aside to cool to hand temperature.

In a bowl mix the flour, salt, yeast, spices and sugar and add the milk mixture and egg.  Mix with a wooden spoon, then with your hands then remove from the bowl and begin to knead. I still found it overly sticky but my egg was very large so I added small amounts of flour gradually until the dough was workable. Knead for about 5mins and then put into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.

When risen, knock it back and add the fruits and peel, knead again and leave to rise a second time. This is not for people in a hurry!

After the second rise, knock the dough back again and dived into equal sized balls for the buns. The original recipe suggests 15, I got 24 good sized buns from my mix.

Place the buns, slightly spaced apart on lined baking trays, cover with tea towels and leave for another hour.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees C (the recipe says 220 but I did the first batch at this temp and the bottoms burnt slightly). Now you need to pipe the flour paste over the buns into crosses. I used a sandwich bag with a point cut off the end to do this.

Bake for about 15 minutes until golden and gorgeous. Warm the jam and brush over the still warm buns to glaze.

Enjoy as they are or split (toasted or not) with butter. Happy Easter to you All!


70 thoughts on “Hot Cross Buns for Good Friday

  1. I love hot cross buns, especially toasted. I’m glad they worked out for you in the end…the look delicious. I have to say I abandonded Delia years ago…I know here recipes are popular but the never worked for me.

    1. I usually have quite good luck with Delia´s recipes, but this one had way too much yeast in it and the mixture was dry, dry dry. That´s why blogging is good – plenty of tried and tested recipes out there! Have a wonderful Easter with the family 🙂

      1. How did we ever manage without the interweb? Happy Easter to you too. x

      1. Eggs are most definitely first on the list – Hot Cross Buns should come way down the bottom!

        We will be celebrating this weekend, so will let you know what we get up to!

  2. Great post and excellent pictures – apparently hot cross buns baked on Good Friday had special properties and people kept them all year for good luck – perhaps that’s what Delia’s rock buns are for 😉

  3. First it was Mad Dog and now your lovely hot cross buns. I love them and next year I think I might try making them. At least I know which recipe not to use. Have a wonderful Easter.

    1. Mmm, can´t recommend the Delia one but maybe I just got unlucky. The one I posted is exactly how I did it and the proof, as they say, is in the eating! (and very good they were too)…

  4. Although I don’t celebrate Easter (we have 2 Eid’s instead of Easter and Christmas 🙂 ) I wait for it all year round because I can get hot cross buns from the bakery! Yum! Since it always takes me 3 or 4 times to say “will try that” before I actually do, I’m assuming it’s going to take me 3 or 4 Easters (and therefore years) to make hot cross buns (would you believe I still have bookmarked HCB recipes since last Easter?!)

    This is my 2nd year, so I’m expecting some bun making next year or the year after at most! And probably when it’s not Easter…because I’d otherwise be getting it from the bakery! (Their all-chocolate ones and original cinnamon ones are AMAAAAAAAZING! probably just about as good as yours!)

    1. That´s the great thing about all these different religious and cultural celebrations – we can still enjoy them from the “outside”! I used to love Eid in my old London neighbourhood…so much colour and gorgeous food 🙂

      We´ll look forward to your bun making maybe next year Fati 😉

  5. I bought a package of these yesterday and felt so guilty.. well, they’ve been now I get to make yours!! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try these!! xo Smidge

  6. Your buns are lookin’ good, Tanya! 🙂

    As an Italian-Brit living in Spain, tradition-rich holidays like Easter must be difficult to navigate. Far too many customs to deal with and I don’t now how you do it. Starting with hot cross buns, though, works for me!

    I hope you and your Big Man, as well as your neighbor Up on the Mountain, have a wonderful Easter, Tanya!

    1. Thank you John for your kind words! My approach to any celebration is to go with as many traditions as possible 😉 Have a wonderful Easter too..I expect you´ll be celebrating in style!

  7. Your hot cross buns look delicious. I love this recipe and how it has citrus peel in it and lots of spice. I love how glossy they are too. xx

  8. YUM! And I’ve just made some buns from a recipe I’ve not tried before. They were disappointing too, though not through machine ‘malfunction’. Bland and a little boring so I’m interested in the spiciness of your recipe. Shall up the sugar too and try again. Yum – love fruit buns and Easter is such a good excuse to, um, go for it.

  9. Que buenoooo!! I adore warm buns straight out of the oven. I would love to grab one for breakfast, smothered in butter and strawberry jam… *nom*nom*nom*

  10. I love hot cross buns and yours make me want to reach in and grab one. I thought I might make them this year, but alas no such luck. These really do look so good! Happy Easter!

    1. Thanks Betsy – I think I´ll make some again soon as they were a big hit at home, and I´ll just leave the cross off and call them “spiced fruity buns” Happy Easter to you and yours too 🙂

  11. I love your description of your attempts at getting the right dough and mixture, we definitely all have days like that! And the finished ones look scrumptious – lashings of butter please! Happy Easter 🙂

  12. Hahaha, oh dear – I shouldn’t laugh – it sounds like the sort of thing I’d do! 😀 I love hot cross buns – Easter has somewhat snuck up on me so I forgot about hot cross buns altogether. Quickly whipped some up on Friday night – I like to have one half toasted and one half untoasted 😀

    1. I don´t mind if you laugh. And my chickens were so happy about the big exploding loaf disaster 😉 I like them both toasted an untoasted, but plenty of butter either way! Am seriously impressed that you quickly whipped some up, will def be giving your recipe a go soon.

    1. Oh dear…not at all what you want them to be like! I do wonder sometimes if people actually test the recipes before they go into print…probably not, much of the time.

  13. Lovely little things!! My mum makes these every year in batches so huge her counters can’t hold them all. Most of them she gives away. Yours look delicious Tanya!

  14. Tanya, this year I cooked Hot Cross Buns for the first time and our family fell in love with them forever. They’re absolutely perfect! The recipe I used was a little different but I imagine every English household has one of their own. Yours look extremely attractive!

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