Of all the Easter recipes I see every year, hot cross buns are probably my favorite. The sweet and spicy taste always takes me back to when I was a kid. I’d eat them in the weeks leading up to Easter and then be bummed to have to wait another year to see them again.
I posted a different hot cross bun recipe last year but wanted to come up with an easier, no-hassle recipe for this Easter. I also added some better pictures showing the various stages of the process. I think it’s much easier when you can compare what your making to what it should hopefully look like. This time I based the dough on a recipe I’ve been using a lot lately. I use it for any sort of sweet bread I need to make, like this Cinnamon Crumb Bread or these obnoxiously good Triple Berry Breakfast Buns and it hasn’t let me down yet!
Like all yeast recipes, waiting is the hardest part. Take a deep breath and relax while the yeast works its bubbly magic, or you could finish all of the other crap from the list on your Post-It…yup that would be my day. Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday two days before Easter Sunday. So if you decide to make these, Thursday would be the best time. Then all you have to do on Friday if you’re like me, is slice them in half and spread a thick layer of salty butter on the inside.
So I know you’re looking at my buns and asking yourself where’s the frosting? Sorry, but I grew up with the traditional flour and water mixture for the cross. If you prefer the frosting version, just skip step #10 and add you’re own. Happy Easter!
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 teaspoons Red Star quick rise yeast
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ⅓ cup dried milk powder
- 1 large egg
- 2½ cups bread flour, divided (plus extra for dusting your work surface)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup raisins
- For The Cross:
- ¼ cup flour
- 6 teaspoons water
- For The Glaze:
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Grease a 13 x 10 baking tray with butter and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine the warm water and yeast. Mix until dissolved.
- Add the sugar, dried milk and egg and whisk until combined.
- Add 1½ cups of the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon until it looks more like a smooth batter.
- Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes it should look bubbly but still very wet. Add the oil and salt and fold through.
- Add the remaining cup of flour and mix into a ball. Transfer to a stand mixer with a dough hook and add the spices. If the dough is still a little wet, add another tablespoon or two of flour.
- Mix the dough on low speed for 5 minutes. Add the raisins and mix for another 2 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to your table and form the dough into a ball. Place the dough into a bowl which has been lightly greased with olive oil. Cover and let rest for about another 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, and roll into small balls. An easy way to do this is to cup the dough under your palm and gently roll it in a circle while gently pressing down on it.
- Place all 12 dough balls onto the prepared baking tray in a 4 x 3 formation.
- Cover with a clean towel and let rise for another hour or until they have started to come together on the tray.
- While they are rising make the mixture for the cross. Mix the water and flour together to form a paste. Once the buns are ready for the oven, using a piping bag or zip lock back with the corner snipped of, squeeze the cross mixture across the buns in both directions to form the cross.
- Preheat the oven to 380 degrees F.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes and golden brown.
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a pot. Simmer until reduced to about three-four tablespoons of liquid still left.
- Glaze the buns when they come out of the oven and let cool. Cover and seal if you're keeping them for the next day.