I’ve never seen or heard about crossed buns during easter before moving to UK. They look kind of weird on the shelf of the supermarket. But give it a go to this sourdough version!
Hot cross buns are soft, sweet bread rolls typically baked during Easter and made with commercial yeast. They’re filled with raisins and candied fruit. Not surprisingly, the recipe includes quite a lot of cinnamon and mixed spices which make these buns smell like Christmas (so weird and appetizing at the same time). There are so many recipes out there for this traditional treat. I mixed up different recipes I found and I really believe this are some of the best buns I’ve ever tried!
These buns are traditionally eaten during Easter, and they really are soft and delicious. I decided to use raisins, apricots and crystalized ginger to the dough, but you could get very creative with that. Try adding chocolate chips, cranberries or other dried fruit! The result is always amazing!
“Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs,With one or two a penny, hot cross buns.”Poor Robin – Almanack
Sourdough Hot Cross Buns – The Final Recipe
- kitchen robot (optional)
- oven tray
- 100 gr Sourdough Starter Recently Fed feed it once in the morning and a second time in the afternoon, to start with the dough in the evening
- 500 gr Strong Bread Flour I used half White and half Wholemeal
- 240 gr Milk I used Coconut
- 50 gr Sugar I used Coconut Sugar
- 50 gr Butter I used Salted Butter
- 1 Egg
- 50 gr Raisins
- 50 gr Crystallized Ginger
- 50 gr Dried Apricots
- 2-3 tsp All Spice (Pumpkin Spice)
- 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Salt
for the Crosses
- 50 gr Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 10 gr Sugar
- 35 gr Water
for the Egg Wash
- 1 Egg
- splash of Milk
for the Glaze
- 2-3 tbsp Honey
- 1 tbsp Water
- Warm up the milk slightly. In a kitchen robot or a bowl, combine together flour, sugar, and salt (use the paddle attachment). Add the softened butter, cube by cube, with the machine running. You want to disperse the butter the flour.
- Add the warm milk, starter, and egg to the bowl. Mix until combined. Start working the dough into a ball on a lightly floured working surface, incorporating any dry bits of flour at the bottom. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the raisins in water.
- After the dough has rested, add the raisins (and any liquid), cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice to the bowl. Work the flour, sprinkling it with some flour in case it sticks to your hands for about 10 minutes, until smooth and homogeneous.
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, letting it rise overnight at room temperature for 12-18 hours. The dough is ready when it has tripled in size. Optional Step: about 1 hour into the bulk rise, I like to do 1 set of stretch and folds. I’ll do another set about 1 hour later. This technique will speed up the bulk rise time and the overall volume of the baked buns.
- The next day, line up a baking tray with baking paper. Remove the dough onto your work surface. Gently shape the dough into a log. Cut into 12-14 equal pieces.
- Take each piece and gently flatten the dough, then bring the edges together in the middle so it forms a rough ball. Turn it over so the seam is at the bottom, then cup your hand over the dough and roll it on the bench using firm pressure until it forms a nice tight round ball with a smooth, even surface. Cover the buns again with the damp tea towel, and leave them to rest for 15–20 minutes. After this resting time, repeat the same procedure and place the buns on the oven tray.
- Place the buns on the lined trays, evenly spaced out to allow for the eventual rise. Cover with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave to rise for around 2 hours, until risen by half (the timing will depend on the weather). Test the buns by gently pressing the surface – if your finger leaves a dent, you’re ready to bake; if the dough springs back it still needs more time.
- In the meantime, make the egg wash by lightly whisking the egg, milk sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl, then brush it evenly over the buns.
- To prepare the cross mix, combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until it forms a smooth paste. Put this into a piping (icing) bag with a plain nozzle and make the cross on the buns.
- Bake at 180 C for 20 min. Prepare the glaze in the meantime, warming up the honey and the water in the microwave or in a saucepan. Once they are baked, use a pastry brush to coat the buns lightly in syrup. Enjoy after they cool down or the next day, toasted, with lashings of butter and jam.
I do have a scientific mind, probably it’s the reason why I love to hide in the kitchen and start creating.
My cooking is healthy, fun and colorful… and really tasty!
What are you waiting for? Grab your apron and start creating with me!