Hot Cross Buns No. 3- Aunty Jenny’s recipe

When I told people about my quest to make the perfect soft hot cross bun (see hot cross bun no.1 & hot cross bun no.2), I got given a few recipes to try. One of them was from my husband’s Aunty Jenny. She gave me the recipe at a family birthday party. I had a quick look at it and it seemed similar to the other recipes I had baked. But decided to bake it as she was adamant it produced soft and fluffy hot cross buns, that I feared her wrath if I didn’t bake them.

It wasn’t till I re read it after the party that I noticed the proving times of this recipe were a lot shorter than others. and it had a lot of yeast for the quantity of flour. Also it had gluten and bread improver in the ingredients which of course I totally didn’t notice till I went to make it (details details) and don’t really have them in the cupboard, as such I made it without gluten and bread improve and used bread flour and hoped for the best.

And……………..They were prefect, soft and fluffy (so soft that when I went to glaze them I thought they weren’t cooked properly as they were soft).

Let’s make hot cross buns (again)

Fancy bread flour plus of course spices

mixed up with butter and water by my lovely mixer

sultanas were the fruit of choice

I even piped on crosses

baked and glazed them

Aunty Jenny’s Hot Cross Buns (recipe adapted by me) – makes 6 buns

1 3/4 cups bread flour

1 tsp salt

3 tsp sugar

3 tsp yeast

1 tsp all spice

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 tsp butter

3/4 cup warm water

2/3 cup sultanas

for the crosses

1/2 cup cornflour

2 tbl sugar

1 tbl flour

2-3 tbl water

Mix dry ingredients (except sultanas) together

Add butter and water

Mix to form dough, mix in mixer with dough hook for about 1 min (or by hand 3-5 mins)

Place in lightly oiled /bowl, rest for 15 mins

Punch down and kneed in fruit – his took about 1 min in mixer with dough hook (maybe 3 mins by hand)

Rest for 10mins
divide into 6 even pieces and shape into ball. Place on greased or baking paper lined tray allowing room for them to rise. Prove for 30-45mins (or doubled in size)

once risen preheat oven to 190 degrees

Mix together cross ingredients to stiff paste, pipe on buns

Bake in oven for 20 mins

I glazed them using the same glaze as in hot cross buns no.2

Enjoy fresh from oven with real proper butter

Hot cross buns no. 2

I bake a lot, much more than the average person it would seem. I bake more than the average household should or even could eat, so what do I do with all this baking? Mainly I take it to work to share with my colleagues. It’s not that I want to load them up with butter and sugar or use them as test guinea pigs for my baking (well not all the time), it’s also the fact that there is something nice about bringing home baked goods, a way of saying thanks for putting up with my constant talking, my lack of attention to detail at times. I also particularly like the fact it makes people stop what they are doing and come to our work tea room and acquire some baking treat, and thus converse with their colleagues over non work stuff. If I ever own my own company I’m totally having daily morning teas and work kitchen fully stocked with baking supplies and a workplace cat, heated throw rugs, nanna naps… ok now I’m digressing.

But this like of sharing my baking with my colleagues is probably why I chose this recipe as recipe no. 2 in my great quest to bake the perfect soft hot cross buns (see here for history of the quest). It’s by Nigella, but she does the first lot of proving in the fridge overnight. This meant instead of getting up at like 4:30am to whip up a batch of hot cross buns to take to work I could start it the night before, take it out in the morning, shape it, prove it in the car on way to work, then bake at work. Which is what I did. And yet again the result whilst good wasn’t quite soft or fluffy enough

Let’s make hot cross buns (again)

There were whole spices and orange zest

Which then infused milk and melted butter

Of course there was yeast, more spices and fancy bread flour

and of course sultantas

kneaded by my fabulous dough hook

left to rise overnight in the fridge

And be shaped the next morning

And baked at work (because every respectable workplace should have an oven)

Hot cross buns – recipe adapted from Nigella Kitchen


150ml milk

50g butter

Zest of 1 orange

1 clove

2 cardamom pods

400g bread flour

2 teaspoon yeast

125g mixed dried fruit (I used just sultanas because that’s all I had)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1 egg


1 egg, beaten with a little milk


3 tablespoons plain flour

½ tablespoon caster sugar

2 tablespoons water


1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 tablespoon boiling water

Heat the milk, butter, orange zest, clove and cardamom pods in a saucepan until the butter melts, then leave to infuse (or cool as I over heated mine, you probably want it to be about blood temp when you add it to the dry ingredients)

Put the flour, yeast and dried fruit into a bowl and add the spices. When the milk is suitably infused and has reached blood temperature take out the clove and cardamom pods, and beat in the egg. Pour this liquid into dry ingredients.

Knead with a dough hook (or by hand if you don’t have a mixer with dough hook) if it is too dry add a little more warm milk or water. Keep kneading until you have silky, elastic dough

Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl covered with clingfilm, and leave to prove overnight in the fridge. You could leave it in a warm place to double for about 1- 1 1/2 hours instead of popping it in the fridge, but Nigella advises the flavour is better is you leave it to rise overnight in the fridge, plus it’s all ready to go in the morning when you wake up.

The next morning preheat oven to 220C. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.

Punch the dough down, and knead it again until it is smooth and elastic. Divide into even sized balls and shape into buns.

Sit the buns on a baking paper. Make sure they are quite close together but not touching. Using the back of a knife, score the tops of the buns with the imprint of a cross (good luck with this I always mangle the damn buns attempting this). Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove again for about 45 minutes – they should have risen and almost joined up.

Brush the buns with an egg wash, and then mix the flour, sugar and water into a smooth, thick paste. Using a teaspoon, dribble two lines over the buns in the indent of the cross, and then bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

When the hot cross buns come out of the oven, mix the sugar and boiling water together for the glaze, and brush each hot bun to make them sweet and shiny.

Enjoy fresh from oven with real proper butter<!–


Hot Cross Buns No. 1

Every year I give homemade hot cross buns a crack.  I don’t know why I mean it’s not like the moment the supermarkets open their doors after Easter they are hard to get.  And quite frankly I rather like the supermarket ones (yeah I’ll confess to buying them way before Easter). They’re all soft and fruity and spicy.

And this I suspect is why I make them every year as I can never get them as soft or fluffy as they do in the supermarkets. It’s like the challenge of trying to get them soft is why I cook them. I usually just pick a recipe at random and make it and though its tasty it’s never soft or fluffy and that’s that. 

But this year I was contacted by my friend Hannah who asked me how to get soft and fluffy hot cross buns.  Clearly my copious baking had tricked her into thinking I was some kind of expert. She provided me with her recipe and the only change I could suggest was to use bread flour.

It all started some sort of obsessive quest to bake the perfect soft fluffy hot cross buns.  Ok the supermarkets have the advantage of preservative and other unpronounacle ingredients but surely the average home cook could make soft and fluffy hot cross buns

So I’ve set myself the challenge of making 3 different hot cross bun recipes.  This one is the first. 

It’s the recipe my friend Hannah asked for my advice on.   I accidently left out the sugar and omitted the crosses, but overall they still turned out pretty good, but alas not soft and fluffy. 

let’s make hot cross buns

There was fancy bread flour mixed with spices

And some sifting

butter and milk melted together

then together with sultanas mixed up into dough

then left to rise

and baked and glazed

Hot Cross Buns –  recipe adapted from SBS food

 teaspoons dried instant yeast
500g bread flour
90g sugar
300mls milk
1tsp salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground all spice
¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
60g butter
1 large egg
140g sultanas

Crosses (if you choose to make them)
2 Tablespoons self raising flour
2 Tablespoons cold water

4 Tablespoons of sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
150mls boiling water

Sift together flour, spices, salt and yeast

In a saucepan heat the milk over a low heat and melt the butter into it.

In a separate bowl beat the egg.

Add the milk and butter mixture to the flour and mix . Add the egg and mix well to form a dough.  I used the dough hook on my mixer to do this

Add Sultanas

Knead with dough hook in mixer (or by hand) until it feels smooth and is no longer sticky (approx 3 mins).

Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to prove until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Punch the dough down and then separate it into equal portion ( it doesn’t matter the size as long as they are about the same size as each other)s.

Place the buns close together on a lightly greased baking tray.

Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size (approx an hour).

For the crosses: Mix the flour and water thoroughly to form a thick paste. Spoon into a zip-lock bag, cut a little hole out of the corner of the bag and use it to pipe the mixture in crosses on top of the buns.

Bake the topped buns at 220°C for 15-20mins.

For the glaze: Mix together all ingredients, dissolving the sugar in the boiling water. Brush over the buns lightly while still hot.

Enjoy Fresh and hot from oven with real proper butter