Hot Cross Buns can be made from most bread doughs. If you already have a favorite recipe and prefer to use one that is familiar, simply make minor modifications. Add a little extra sweetener (sugar or honey) and fat (oil or butter), and a handful of dried fruits. Richer doughs need a longer proof time so let it rise until it’s almost double.
My recipe, below, is made in a breadmachine, but it can also be made in a stand mixer or kneaded by hand. It makes just under two pounds of dough to yield 1 ½ dozen buns, but it can be scaled up to whatever quantity you need.
Hot Cross Buns
Yield: 18 (2 ounce) buns
¾ cup water
2 large eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter, very soft
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon mixed spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc)
1 cup mixed currants, cranberries, apricots or raisins, optional
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup (approx) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon water
¼ teaspoon extract
1. Add ingredients to your breadmachine in the order listed; use dough cycle.
2. When done, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and scale into 2 ounce pieces.
3. Round dough into balls and place on large baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone sheet. Or place close together in (2) 9 inch square pans or a 9×13 pan.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Proof until doubled in size.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 -30 minutes, until deep golden brown. Cool before icing.
6. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with confectioners’ sugar, water, and extract. Adjust until icing is stiff enough to hold its shape.
Home-Based Baking at its Best! If you’re making these for sale try baking in paperware or foil pans with domed lids that won’t disturb the soft icing. If your business centers around meals (boxed lunches, meal delivery service, etc.) consider adding a complimentary hot cross bun with their order. It’s a way to reinforce that their business is important to you.