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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Holy Bunzzzz!!

Hot Cross Buns – (recipe adapted from) Bread and Rolls, Pg. 70 – Antoinette E. Smith (Mrs. A. E.)

In addition to being a song that everyone rocked out to on their elementary school recorder, hot cross buns are also tasty treat. Hot Cross Buns, traditionally baked on Good Friday, are a sweet spiced bun usually made with raisins or dried fruit, originally marked with a cross to signify a Christian symbol, but now it’s mainly because we like frosting! In olden days the cross would have been imprinted onto the bun during baking rather than using frosting…AND in olden days, a glimpse of stocking was looked on something shocking, now heaven knows, anything goes! Accordingly to folklore, if you make hot cross buns on Good Friday, they will remain good for the rest of the year. Holy Bunz!! We’ll never know as ours won’t last that long – and we never eat expired bread, holy or not. If you try this, we recommend a thorough mold inspection.

We have a confession to make – we pretty much know nothing about making yeast bread. After attempting an earlier post – the Tea Ring – not once, BUT twice – and having to bring Peter’s mamma in for reinforcement – we walked away from the yeast and never looked back. It was a difficult breakup, but definitely best for everyone involved.

We’ve been taunted by the thought of baking yummy breads and buns – and the Dutch Oven is loaded with them. So today! Good Friday – the day reserved for baking and eating hot cross buns – is the day of reckoning! We’ve decided to face our yeast fears and kick it in the bunz!

Soooooooooo..the Dutch Oven recipe for hot cross buns starts out by making something called a yeast sponge (also known as a starter) – ya – I know right!?…well this was too much too soon, so we called on our good friend Martha for some tips on how to simplify the process a bit – based on her suggestions we’ve made a couple of changes to this recipe. Oh yeah – and if you been following our adventures – you are likely aware of our stance on raisins – so we’ve decided to use cinnamon chips instead – YaY!

Hot Cross Buns


2 cups milk
2 packages active dry yeast
3 eggs (beaten)
½ cup butter (melted)
¾ cup sugar
7 ½ cups flour (sifted)
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups cinnamon chips (or raisins if that’s your thing)
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 egg (white only)
1 tbsp water


2 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt


In a small saucepan – heat milk to 110 degrees, pour into mixer bowl fitted with dough hook. On low speed add sugar, yeast (proof according to directions), butter, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and eggs. Add flour, 1 cup at a time until mixture is combined and smooth dough is formed.

Add mix-ins (cinnamon chips or raisins) and mix. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead to incorporate mix-ins. Coat a large bowl with butter and shape dough into ball and place in prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Generously butter a baking dish or cookie tray. Turn dough onto surface, knead briefly and divide into 20-24 equal pieces, shape into tight balls. Place in prepared baking dish about ½ an inch apart. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg white and 1 tbsp of water. Brush tops of buns with egg-white wash. Bake 20-22 minutes, rotating halfway through and until golden brown.

Allow buns to cool for 30 minutes. Whisk icing ingredients together and transfer to piping bag. Pipe icing onto buns in the shape of a cross – or just pour it onto like a glaze.


  1. Replies
    1. Oops! Sorry about that oversight - It should be 2 cups of Milk. Also - you should proof your yeast first as directed - I just noticed we didn't specify this above. Good luck!

  2. I'm making these now (and it's Good Friday!) I found the eggs in the recipe confusing. First it calls for 2 eggs, then three beaten, then an egg white. How many eggs are supposed to be in the dough (I used three and will use one more for the wash). Otherwise, thank you for this recipe! The dough is beautiful and easy to work with and sweet enough but not too sweet! I can't wait until they are baked!

    1. Hey Lori - looks like we got a little carried away with our eggs. The original recipe called for two, but we used three. Thanks for pointing this out - we'll make the change. You'll need an additional egg white for the wash. Let us know how they turn out - feel free to post a photo on our fb page!