Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns

Bread Dough | www.canolaeatwell.comWe are sharing a post from our Professional Home Economist (PHEc) and friend Joan.  Joan has shared her family recipe for  Hot Cross Buns with us just in time for Easter weekend.  Who will be making this special treat for Easter?

Happy Home Ec Day to all my fellow PHEc friends across the country and around the world!
Be well… Jenn, PHEc

The following post is brought to us by Guest Blogger Joan Ttooulias a Professional Home Economist (PHEc) in Ontario.  Thanks Joan for sharing your story and recipe with us.

One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns

For years on Good Friday I have always made Hot Cross Buns, first helping my Mother when in England and then keeping up the tradition when I moved to Canada with my own family.

My Mother’s recipe had a mixture of currents, peel and mixed spice, always made with Canadian strong bread flour! When I first arrived in Canada the mixed spice that I was used to purchasing in England was not available, so each time I visited I would bring back several containers. And if I ran out I would simply use pumpkin pie spice with some more cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg mixed in.

Our youngest, took an instant dislike to the currents and especially the peel so I would halve the batch of dough and Andrew would be able to enjoy ‘plain’ Hot Cross Buns.  Even when he was in Australia, years later I froze a batch which he enjoyed when he came home later that year. Over the years I have experimented with various dried fruits, my own favourite being golden raisins with some good quality orange peel.

glazed hot cross buns - guest blogger JoanRecipe for Hot Cross Buns

Bun Ingredients:

6 cups [1500 mL] good quality bread flour
1 cup [250 mL] brown sugar
1 cup [250 mL] ground almonds
¾ cup [175 mL] skim milk powder
1 Tbsp [15 mL] quick rise instant yeast
1 Tbsp [15 mL] mixed spices
1 Tbsp [15 mL] sea salt
2 cups [475 mL] lukewarm water
¾ cup [175 mL] canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup [250 mL] golden raisins
½ cup [125 mL] dried cranberries

Piping Paste:

¼ cup [50 mL] all purpose flour
1 Tbsp [15 mL] granulated sugar
1 Tbsp [15 mL] water


½ cup [125 mL] granulated sugar
¼ cup [50 mL] water

Bun ingredients:

Place dry ingredients, except raisins and cranberries into bowl of large mixer fitted with dough hook; mix at low speed until blended. Pour in all liquid ingredients, gradually increasing speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes until dough is smooth, elastic, glossy and slightly sticky. Add raisins and cranberries for last minute of mixing time. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead to form a ball and return to mixer bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel; leave to rise in a draught-free area for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is doubled in size.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll gently into a long roll; cut equally into 24 pieces [see photo]. Roll each piece into a neat ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, almost touching one another, [see photos]. Cover with a slightly damp tea towel and let rise for 45 to 60 minutes until buns double in size and join together, [see photo].

finished hot cross bun dough - Joanequal pieces of hot cross bun dough - Joan proofed hot cross buns - Joan

Piping Paste:

Preheat oven to 450°F [230°C]. Mix piping paste ingredients until smooth, spoon into re-sealable plastic bag; cut small hole in one corner of bag. Use back of knife to make a cross on each bun, pipe a cross on each bun. Place buns in oven; reduce oven temperature to 425°F [220°C], bake for 20 minutes or until buns are golden brown. [see photos]

piped hot cross buns - Joan baked hot cross bunsglazed hot cross buns


Meanwhile cook sugar and water in small saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute, remove from heat. Brush hot buns with glaze, cool on rack, before devouring! [see photo]

Yield: 24 buns

Buns freeze well; to thaw buns: microwave at 50% power for 60 to 90 seconds.
Substitute 3 cups [750 mL] of the bread flour for 3 cups of [750 mL] whole wheat flour.
The dried fruits in the recipe can be substituted for same quantities of dark raisins, currents, citrus peel or chopped dried apricots.

Notes of interest about Hot Cross Buns

-The first recorded use of the term “hot cross bun” was found in Englandin the early 1700’s.
-The cross on the bun denotes the actual Cross: a symbol of the Crucifixion.
-In many Christian countries, some say Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted during Lent, beginning with the evening before Ash -Wednesday [the Tuesday which is known as Pancake Tuesday] through to Good Friday.
-Other records state that Hot Cross Buns were only eaten on Good Friday.
-Superstitions abound around the Hot Cross Bun; the cross on the top was supposedly to prevent evil spirits from ruining the yeasted dough and prevent buns from rising.
-There is even a nursery rhythm for Hot Cross Buns…

Be Well…Joan

Joan Ttooulias is a Professional Home Economists, food stylist, recipe developer and loves to travel.

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