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Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns
Sweet, enriched rolls lightly spiced with lemon, cinnamon and nutmeg, and studded with currants. Top with a cross for the Easter holiday.
Yield 18 buns



  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour, divided
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup dried currants
  • Egg wash: 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water (beaten together)


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon


  • In stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, salt, lemon zest, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg; mix well. In saucepan or microwave-safe dish, heat milk and water to 120-130°F. Add warm liquids and butter to flour mixture. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds; beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. Add egg; beat 1 minute.
  • Switch to dough hook attachment. Gradually stir in currants and enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes.
    (NOTE: For hand mixing: following above steps, mix ingredients in large mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or dough whisk. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic.)
  • Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after poking dough with finger down to second knuckle, about 1 hour.
  • Prepare pans: Grease 2 cookie sheets; set aside.
  • Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Divide into 3 equal parts. Divide each part into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth, round ball. Place on prepared pans, sides touching. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Brush risen buns with egg wash. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets; cool on wire rack.
  • Make icing: In medium bowl, combine all icing ingredients; beat until smooth. Add more water/sugar to achieve desired consistency. Add icing to a zipper bag; seal shut. Snip the corner (not too big of a hole) and pipe icing into shape of a cross over top of each bun.


Get Bread Machine Method here.
Photo by Fake Ginger.

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Review & Comments

Virginia Tate | Reply

Your recipes all seem to use a stand mixer and I don’t own one. Can you please give alternative instructions for those of us too poor to buy one? Thank you.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Virginia – There is hand kneading directions in step 2. I hope you will find this information helpful.
Happy baking!

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