Hot cross buns, the original recipe to prepare them

If you are looking for quick and easy recipes perfect for Easter, we suggest you try hot cross buns, a real treat!

Among the Easter recipes there is one of English origin which you should definitely try. They are the hot cross buns, literally sandwiches with the cross often prepared for Good Friday. Their origin is very ancient: it seems in fact that they were prepared for the first time in 1300 by the hand of Thomas Rocliffe, a friar of St. Albans Abbey eager to distribute them to the poor at the end of Lent.

It is in fact a highly symbolic dessert not only due to the presence of the cross on the surface but also due to the presence of milk and butter in the dough, ingredients prohibited during Lent. Even the spices, especially cinnamon and orange peel, symbolize the Christian Easter, in particular the episode of the resurrection. But let’s find out together how to prepare these delicious sweets.

Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns

How to make hot cross buns recipe

  1. First put soak the raisins in hot water scented with grated orange peel.
  2. Separately, in a bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  3. Gradually pour in the warm milk and start kneading first with a wooden spoon and then by hand. If you want, you can use the planetary mixer equipped with a K beater.
  4. Then add the egg and the butter at room temperature, one piece at a time, waiting for the previous one to be absorbed and, lastly, the drained raisins in a fine mesh strainer and continue to mix until you get a well-cooked dough. elastic and strung or, if you’re using a stand mixer, until it sticks to the hook.
  5. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface, create a ball and place it in a lightly buttered bowl, then leave it bump up in the oven off with the light on until doubled. It will take approximately 3 hours.
  6. Then divide the dough into buns 75 grams each and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at a distance of 1.5 cm from each other.
  7. Let them rise for another hour then brush the surface with a yolk.
  8. Prepare the glaze for the cross by mixing the flour, warm water and golden syrup or maple syrup until you get a smooth batter.
  9. Transfer it into a pastry bag with a small nozzle and draw the crosses on the sandwiches.
  10. Bake a 180°C for 20 minutes and let them cool before serving.

Try also another typical bread of the Italian tradition, the remains of Como.


Hot cross buns are stored under a confectionery hood for 2-3 days, soft as freshly made. It is also possible to freeze them.

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