Sustainable Dharma

Finding Dharma in a Sustainable Lifestyle

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

I got the basic recipe from FoodNetwork Original Recipe

Like all recipes I use, I have made it my own:

Also I made a double batch because I LOVE these and 12 is not enough for 5 people… Even more so if one of those is me! I had 3 gone before the glaze was dry…

  • 1 1/2 c water and 1/2 c heavy cream OR 2 cups milk
  •  3 Tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2/3 c melted butter
  • 2 large eggs (one of the whites set aside and chilled)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 6 C All purpose flour (give or take)
  • 1/2 C Brown sugar
  • 1/2 C White sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon clove
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup plumped raisins (I used a mix of regular and golden)
  •  Glaze (recipe to follow)

Since this is a yeast bread recipe, I used a lot of Basic Bread technique. If you are not familiar with making yeast breads, this recipe has everything you need to make it, but a quick scan of the basic bread recipe may be helpful too!

First Plump the Raisins

If you don’t know how to do this let me quickly explain.

I use a large measuring cup to portion out what I need. Then I add a little water to them and microwave them for 30 seconds to a min. Let them sit for a few minutes to plump up, and then drain them. Let them sit a bit longer while I get started on the other prep.


  • In a large measuring cup (I used the same one from the raisins) add the water and cream. You want 2 cups liquid. It can also be milk and water or even all milk. I prefer the water cream mix. Heat these to a little above body temp. You do not want it too hot or too cold.
  • Add the yeast to the mix and let it sit for a little bit. You can add a pinch of sugar and or flour to help speed it up. Let this sit until it is frothy and then mix it up.
  • While that sits, sift 5 cups of flour in a large bowl. Add sugar, salt, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and ginger. Mix everything up and set aside. Oil up a large glass or wood bowl and set aside.
  • Whisk the butter, egg, and vanilla into the yeast mix.
  • Slowly pour the liquids into the dry mix, stirring the whole time. Once the liquid is added mix everything well. It should be stiff and hard to stir. Add the remaining one cup of flour while mixing with your hands until it is dough.
  • Pull the dough out of the bowl and fold in the raisins, as you knead it.
  • Form the dough into a ball and put in the oiled bowl. Cover it with a towel.
  • Cinnamon slows down the rise so it will take an hour or more. Turn your oven on a low temp and place the bowl on the stove top. After an hour poke it. If it is still firm, let it rise longer.
  • After it is done with the rise, carefully push the dough down with your hands and knead it a little. Form it into a ball again, and put it back in the bowl. Let it rise a second time in the same way. It should take less time this round.
  • After it is done, knead it again, removing all of the gasses. Form it into small balls. You can place them on the pan now, or you can form them. I prefer to form them. Using a rolling pin I roll out each small ball until I am sure all the gasses are out, then roll it in my hands, forming a ball. I pinch the bottom if needed. Place them on the pan giving them plenty of room to grow, and oh my they will.
  • Using the egg white that was set aside and a pastry brush, brush the tops of all of the buns. This gives them a golden and flaky top! (I totally forgot to do this last time, so the ones in the photo doesn’t have the egg wash.)
  • Let them double on the pan and then bake at 350 until they are golden brown.
  • While your whole house fills with the smell of hot crossed buns, mix the glaze and put in a pastry bag or a baggy. You can cut the corner of the bag to make it a pastry bag. Personally I use a sauce bottle (like this) I got mine at Walmart but they hardly ever have them.
  • Once the buns are done let them cool on the rack. I add the glaze while they are still warm but not hot.

The Glaze

The one on the original recipe seems like it must be a typo. I used this below and it worked perfectly!

  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Heavy cream
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 Teaspoon finely ground lemon zest (optional)

Mix everything together until it is a nice glaze or frosting. If it is too stiff add a little more cream


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