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The ultimate hot cross buns, super soft and fluffy, perfect for Easter or around the holidays.

Hot Cross Buns

YIELD 12 buns

Ingredients

Buns:

  • cups (450g) all-purpose or bread flour
  • teaspoons (7g/0.25 oz) instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup (55g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice , optional
  • teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ½ cup (120 ml) whole milk or water, lukewarm, plus more as needed
  • cup (75g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (or 1/3 cup flavorless oil such as canola)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup (about 120g) mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, dried cranberries, dried apples or apricot)
  • optional add-ins: zest of 1 orange , 2-3 tablespoons candied orange peel or ginger

Paste for the cross:

  • 4 tablespoons (40) g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons water , or more as needed

Glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons honey or apricot jam , for brushing the tops

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer place flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, and allspice, and mix to combine using a large spoon. add salt and stir until combined. Add milk, butter, and eggs. Attach dough hook to the mixer and mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes, until dough starts to come together. If the dough is dry, add a bit more milk or water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase mixer speed to medium-low and keep kneading for another 8-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 1.5 -2 hours or until dough has doubled in size (if it's a cold day, this may take longer).
  3. When dough has risen, gently punch it to remove air. With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the dried fruit and the optional add-ins, if using, and knead into the dough (by hand) for about a minute, just until everything is evenly distributed. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and shape each one into a ball. Arrange the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving some space between them because dough will expand. It's ok if the buns will touch each other after rising. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel, then set aside and let rest for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  5. To make the paste: mix the flour and sugar, then add enough water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make a thick paste. If you added too much water and it's too liquid, add more flour. Using a piping bag or a ziplock bag (or a spoon), pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake until deep golden brown, 15-18 minutes. Heat the honey or apricot jam in the microwave for several seconds until melted, then brush the warm honey/jam over the top of the warm buns. Allow buns to cool to room temperature. Serve buns warm or at room temperature.
  6. Rolls are best the same day they are made, but can be frozen for up to 2 months. Rewarm in the oven before serving.