Homemade Hot Cross Buns Recipe


Hot cross buns are synonymous with Easter. Learn how to make your own homemade hot cross buns from scratch and you may never buy them from the store again! #hotcrossbuns #hotcrossbunsrecipe #easterrecipes #eastertreats #easterdessertsHot cross buns. Hot cross buns. One a penny, two a penny, unless you can’t buy them from the store and have to make your own instead.

Okay, that’s not really how the song goes. But those may as well be the lyrics right now because with the entire world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic and Easter fast approaching, luxuries like hot cross buns aren’t as easy to come by at the grocery store or even your local bakery this year.

But that’s no problem for you, because YOU are about to learn how to make hot cross buns from scratch. And you’re about to discover that they’re actually really EASY to make at home, from scratch, using ingredients you likely have on hand already.

So, let’s begin!

Here is where I would normally tell you all about the history of hot cross buns (which is actually quite fascinating and dates back to the 12th century when an Anglican monk first baked an early version of these delicious sweet buns on Good Friday and marked them with a cross, for obvious reasons)…

Okay, I digress. I actually really enjoy learning and talking about the history of food, but there are lots of places on the Internet where you can learn about such things, and I know you’re here for the recipe. So let’s move on, shall we?

How to make homemade hot cross buns

Hot cross buns are a sweet bread made with basic ingredients including flour, dry active yeast, milk, eggs, sugar and spices, plus raisins or, more traditionally, dried currants and/or candied citrus peels. You could also use dried cranberries or any dried fruit, really.

Start by proofing your yeast: Heat up ¾ cup of whole milk to about 110ºF and add it to a mixing bowl with one teaspoon of sugar and 2¼ teaspoons (or one packet) of active dry yeast. Mix it all together and then leave it to proof for about 10 minutes.

You’ll see the milk/sugar/yeast combo beginning to bubble and foam after a few minutes.

Add in another ½ cup of sugar, ¼ cup of melted butter, 2 large eggs, some vanilla extract, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cardamom (if you have some), and mix it all together.

Mixing dough for hot cross buns | Homemade hot cross buns

Then add one cup of all-purpose flour and one cup of raisins (or dried fruit of choice) and mix together.

* I like to soak my raisins in some hot water for about five minutes first to soften them up because the ones in my pantry are a little old and dry. After five minutes, strain the water out (obviously). The softened raisins are much easier to work with when you roll out the dough, although they turn out nicely in the buns whether you pre-soak them or not.

Making dough for hot cross buns | Homemade hot cross buns

Add remaining 2½ cups of flour and mix together until a wet dough begins to form. Flour your hands and your counter (or whatever large, flat surface you’ll be rolling out your dough on), and turn your dough out of the bowl onto the counter.

Knead dough by hand for about two to three minutes.

Kneading by hand vs. using a stand mixer

For this recipe you could use a stand mixer if you like, but I actually found the dough came out lighter and fluffier when I kneaded by hand. That could have also been because the yeast I used in the first batch was a little old.

Either way, you only need to knead this dough for a couple minutes, and kneading by hand is so cathartic. So if you find yourself in need of a little DIY therapy right now (and who doesn’t), then I highly recommend kneading by hand.

Kneading hot cross buns | Homemade hot cross buns

Good lord, look at those dry hands! Like everyone, I’ve been washing them a little more than normal lately. Hopefully you can relate! But whether there’s a pandemic or not, just a friendly reminder to ALWAYS wash your hands before kneading dough or handling food.

After you’ve kneaded your dough, place it in a lightly oiled mixing bowl (to prevent it from sticking) and cover with a tea towel. Place it somewhere warm and let it rise for one to two hours, until it’s doubled in size.

(I like to put my dough in the oven with the light on to let it rise. Just be careful not to turn the oven on!)

Once your dough ball has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured surface again. Cut it into 12 equal pieces. This may take a little adjusting (ie. taking a little extra dough off some of the larger pieces and adding it to smaller pieces, etc.), but so long as your 12 dough balls are roughly the same size, you’re good to start forming them into buns.

Hot cross buns dough | Homemade hot cross buns

Place your buns in a well-greased baking pan and place in a warm spot (like your oven with the light on) to let them rise again for about an hour.

Homemade hot cross buns

Then, preheat your oven to 350ºF (remove your buns from the oven first if you’ve been letting them rise in there!) , and start mixing up the ingredients to make your cross.

What is the cross made of on hot cross buns?

For your homemade hot cross buns you can either make your cross the traditional way, with flour and water (which is what this recipe calls for), or you can make it out of icing sugar and water for a sweet, sugary cross.

Alternatively, you can go simple and carve a cross into the top of each bun with a sharp knife (like the monks of long ago), or you can go crazy and make an icing sugar cross with some food colouring added in or maybe add some cream cheese to make a cream cheese icing cross… It’s completely up to you.

I actually prefer the traditional chewy, doughy cross made from a super simple mixture of flour and water, so that’s what I’ve included with this recipe.

So, to make your cross, mix ¼ cup of water with 6 tablespoons of flour. Stir together to mix really well and then spoon it into a piping bag or a small plastic/Ziplock bag and cut the tip off a corner of the bag to make your own piping bag.

Hot cross buns are synonymous with Easter. Learn how to make your own homemade hot cross buns from scratch and you may never buy them from the store again! #hotcrossbuns #hotcrossbunsrecipe #easterrecipes #eastertreats #easterdesserts

Add the crosses onto your buns by piping a straight line down each row of buns, and then doing the same thing across each row going the other direction.

Then, once the oven has preheated, bake your hot cross buns for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are just beginning to turn golden brown.

Glazing your hot cross buns

While your buns are baking, mix up your glaze.

While you technically don’t have to add a glaze onto your homemade hot cross buns, I highly recommend it. If you don’t, you should still brush some melted butter or a little milk or cream on top of your buns as soon as they come out of the oven to help keep them moist. But in my humble opinion, your hot cross buns will be so much better if you add a sweet, sticky glaze like the one I’m about to share with you.

I tried a couple different glazes, including a little straight maple syrup on one batch (which was a little too sticky), as well as a honey and milk glaze, which was just right.

(If you do decide to do a maple glaze, I recommend melting one tablespoon of butter and mixing it with one tablespoon of maple syrup and then brushing with that to help it absorb into the buns).

For the honey and milk glaze, mix one tablespoon of honey with one tablespoon of lukewarm milk. Now, you could stop there, but if you really want to take your home-made hot cross buns to the next level, add ¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom to your honey and milk glaze mixture.

You could also try a little cinnamon or nutmeg or vanilla extract. But I found the flavour of the cardamom worked really well with these buns and I highly recommend it if you happen to have some on hand!

Brush buns with the glaze as soon as they come out of the oven. Then resist the temptation to stuff them directly in your mouth while they’re still scorching hot and let them cool for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Hot cross buns are synonymous with Easter. Learn how to make your own homemade hot cross buns from scratch and you may never buy them from the store again! #hotcrossbuns #hotcrossbunsrecipe #easterrecipes #eastertreats #easterdesserts

Make-ahead and storage options

For best results, eat your homemade hot cross buns while they’re still warm and fresh out of the oven. Alternatively, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

You can also make the dough up ahead of time so the buns are ready to bake on Good Friday or Easter Sunday or whenever you’d like to enjoy them. Simply follow all the steps up until the point where you shape your buns. Then, before you let the dough rise again, stick them in the fridge. Take buns out of the fridge to let them rise at least a couple hours before you want to bake them and bake as normal.

And that’s it! Another simple recipe that will leave you wondering why you’ve been buying hot cross buns from the store or the bakery all these years when you could have just as easily been making your own.

Of course, let’s hope that by next Easter it won’t be as difficult to find them at the store as it is right now. But I’m pretty sure that after you try this recipe for homemade hot cross buns, you’ll be making them at home from now on anyway 🙂

 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness:)

 

 

 

 

P.S. Want more from scratch recipes, gardening tips and homesteading inspiration? Subscribe for FREE to Modern Homesteading Magazine and get our free monthly magazine delivered straight to your inbox! Plus get the latest posts, recipes and all around great content from The House & Homestead sent to you weekly so you never miss a thing:)

 


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2 Comments

  1. Barbara Holcomb

    What a great recipe! I had not made hot cross buns for thirty years. Love, love the addition of cardamon. My grandmother used to make these every year.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      I’m glad you enjoyed them!

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Sometimes I question why I do what I do. Why do I take on so much? Why do I bother making everything from scratch and growing a garden and preserving food when I could just as well buy it from the store and save myself a ton of time and effort?⁣⁣⁣
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Why am I working hard to build a business out of my passion when I could just as easily go to work for a pay check and just enjoy homesteading as a hobby on the side?⁣⁣⁣
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Why do I choose to do everything the hard way and see against the grain? Why not just go with the flow and hope for the best?⁣⁣⁣
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I can’t say for sure that I would have chosen to follow all the same paths that I’ve gone down over the past few years had I not become a mother, but what I 𝘥𝘰 know for sure is that my beautiful daughter is worth every ounce of hard work; every dollar I’ve invested in our future goals and dreams; every late night work fest and canning session; every seed planted and loaf of bread baked.⁣

She’s worth it because I want to give her the best I can in life. I want her to eat good food and live a long and healthy life. I want to teach her how to be self-sufficient so that she has the skills she needs no matter what kind of world awaits her in the future. And I want to show her that anything is possible and any dream is worth pursuing, even if the work that it takes to achieve it is harder than following the herd and taking the road of least resistance.⁣⁣⁣
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This little human right here: this is my why. This girl and her goofy smile make everything worthwhile ❤️⁣⁣⁣
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What (or who?) is your why?
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This growing season has seriously been the strangest I’ve experienced so far. Summer came so late we thought it wasn’t gonna come at all. Our greens and peas and spring crops produced for weeks longer then they normally do as we waited FOREVER for our tomatoes and peppers and summer crops to grow and ripen.

Now that we’re into October, we’re having a warm spell and the garden is acting like it’s summer! The tomatoes are all just starting to turn red, the cucumbers and zucchini are still givin’er, the pumpkins and squash are having another growth spurt, and now the green beans are starting on round two after about a month of dormancy!

We’re supposed to be going fishing tomorrow, and I’m wondering if the salmon are a little late this year too...

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Can you imagine how bland and boring our food (and life) would be without spices??⁣

Seriously! We take them for granted nowadays because they’re so readily available in our pantries and on grocery store shelves. But for thousands of years throughout history, spices were coveted, revered and hard to get. For around 1,500 years, spices travelled overland on camelback and horseback on the Silk Road from China to the west. And then, just over 500 years ago, explorers set out into the unknown to find a maritime trading route, and one of those explorers just so happened to stumble on the Americas along the way, essentially shaping history and the modern world as we know it. ⁣

But besides history and geography, the science behind spices is just as fascinating. Their culinary and medicinal uses have had a huge impact on the world and on the dishes we enjoy on a regular basis today. Oh, and did you know that, scientifically speaking, it’s actually possible to GROW even the most “exotic” spices at home, right here in North America??⁣

I LOVE to geek out on this sort of stuff, so doing the research for the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine was actually so much fun. (If you hadn’t guessed, this issue is all about spices!!)⁣

I’d love to tell you so much more right here, but I’m a bit limited on space! However, you can read more about the fascinating story of spices, their culinary and medicinal uses, how to put them to use in your kitchen and yes, even how to grow them at home in the October issue.⁣

So if you’re already subscribed, be sure to check your inbox for the latest issue (it came out yesterday). And if you’re NOT yet subscribed, then head on over and click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to subscribe for FREE, and get the latest issue delivered straight to your inbox!⁣

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It’s also Ginny's first time guest posting so be sure to leave a comment while you’re there and let us know what school looks like for your family this year.⁣

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I’ve been feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders lately. Between balancing work and the garden and all of the canning and preserving tasks this time of year, I’ve already got enough on my plate. Add a string of social commitments, back-to-school and extracurricular activities, and I’m definitely feeling the pressure, as I usually do this time of year.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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But lump on a pandemic, worsening political tensions, division and civil unrest, intensifying environmental disasters (we’re currently socked in with smoke from the California wildfires), and it all just becomes too much to bear some days.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I know I’m far from the only one who’s feeling this way. And yet, we all have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going even when we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed and burnt out. Even when the present is frightening and the future is uncertain.⁣

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You can check out my list of 10 tips for managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead (and in life!) by clicking the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and then clicking the link to the full blog post at the top.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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You can also grab my free time management planner by clicking the link in my bio and then clicking on “Free Resource Library,” (find it under “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency Resources” in the library).⁣⁣⁣
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No matter what you’re struggling with right now, I hope some of these tips help keep you navigate these extra stressful times and stay focused and moving forward with your to-do list, as well as with your big goals and dreams. But most of all, I hope it reminds you that if you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed right now, you’re not alone.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to read more.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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I don’t think I have a jar big enough for this pickling cucumber 🥒 ⁣

What do you do with the huge pickling cukes that inevitably get missed in the garden??⁣

Please leave suggestions below! I’ve got two of ‘em! 😂
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Late summer is truly the time of abundance (and by far the busiest time of year for us).⁣⁣⁣
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We’ve got so much food that’s ripe for the picking in our own garden, plus baskets full of produce that we purchase locally when it’s in season and preserve for the winter.⁣⁣⁣
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Between harvesting and preserving (and trying my best to document it all for you along the way), there’s little time for much else in August.⁣⁣⁣
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We’re busy sweating in the garden and the kitchen, working around the clock to preserve all of the fruits (and vegetables) of summer so that come winter we hunker down and relax knowing we’ve got a pantry full of food to sustain us.⁣⁣⁣
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While there have been more times than I like to admit when I’ve asked myself why we do this when we could be at the beach or floating down the river like everyone else, come winter I am ALWAYS grateful for the time and energy we invested in the spring, summer and fall to grow and preserve all of the food that lines our pantry shelves.⁣⁣⁣
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With everything that 2020 has brought so far (and more uncertainty to come), this year I’m feeling grateful even in the thick of it; Even while I’m sweating and pulling late night canning sessions and constantly scraping dirt out from under my nails. This year it’s more apparent than ever how much growing and preserving our own food is worth the time and effort that it takes.⁣⁣⁣
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If you feel the same way and you’re looking to get even better at gardening, preserving and homesteading in general, or maybe you’re finally ready to start living a more sustainable lifestyle where YOU have control over your food supply, I highly encourage you to check out the Gardening & Sustainable Living Bundle (link in bio @thehouseandhomestead). It’s packed with almost $600 worth of resources designed to help you take control of your food security and live a more self-sufficient life, and it’s on sale today only for just $19.99!⁣

If you ask me, we would all be wise to invest in our own food security as we head into fall and winter 2020, so click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab your bundle now. The sale ends tonight at midnight so don’t wait!!
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