My Hot Cross Bun Recipe

I’ve made this recipe for twenty years. It’s tried and true and tasty.


hot cross buns small750g good bread flour. Ordinary plain flour will do at a pinch.

2 cups sultanas and currants in whatever proportions you prefer.

100g butter, softened.

1 egg yolk.

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.

1 teaspoon ground cloves.

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

1 teaspoon ground allspice.

100g brown sugar.

Pinch salt.

2 sachets dried yeast.

2 cups of warm (not too warm) water.



Mix together the flour, spices, salt, sugar, yeast, sultanas and currants in a big bowl.

Rub the butter through the flour/spice/yeast/fruit mixture, as if you were making scones.

Mix water and egg yolk together and gradually add to the flour while mixing.

Use elbow grease and mix everything together until it comes together. Vague, I know, but the mixture should start to come away from the sides of the bowl. You might need to add a little more flour.

Turn the mixture ball out onto a floured bench. Knead away for some time. Ten minutes? The fruit should start to pop through the dough, which will begin to be shiny, glossy and elastic.

Wash out the bowl you used. Grease it with butter. Put the dough back in and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave to rise. You can put it in the oven at a very low defrost type heat (50 degrees max).

A couple of hours later, the dough should have doubled in size.

Punch the dough (whee!), turn it out and knead it a little.

Divide the dough in half. Take each half and form into twelve balls. That makes twenty-four in total. Der.

To bake the buns, I use ordinary old metal baking dishes, the sort gran used for the Sunday roast. They hold twelve dough balls beautifully – three deep and four wide.

Leave the buns for their rising. Let them double in size. About an hour.

While they’re rising, make a batter of flour and water, pop into a piping bag and paint crosses on the buns.

Cook in a 200 degree oven for 25 minutes. If you like a crunchier crust, slide the buns out of the tray and then pop them back in the oven on the rack for another ten minutes.

Serve with butter, not margarine, for best effect.