Search This Blog

Friday, April 6, 2012

[Hot Cross Buns] Sweet buns from 16th century

I love bread. I love baked goods. And most of all, I love baking.
I am a nocturn baker. I start baking late only after kids go to bed.
Yesterday, Good Friday eve, I baked a dozen hot cross buns while I was reading
"Born wicked".

I liked it. It was romanctic, but sad. I'm already waiting for the second book. This Cahill witch chronicles are to be trilogy.

Do you like hot cross buns? I do like them. Well, I love all kinds of bread and I love baking.
So I try to bake a specialty of each holiday.
After 15 seconds in the microwave, the hot cross buns are hot and soft just as they were right out of the oven.
Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten warm or toasted from Good Friday to Easter, and the cross standing symbolizes the Crucifixion. Hot buns had been eaten even before Chistinaity, but the Hot cross buns became a feature of Easter.

According to the legend, Elizabeth I, protestant English monarch, saw the hot cross buns as a dangerous badge of Catholic belief in England since the bread was baked from the dough used for the communion wafer. However, the buns were too popular to be banned from sale. It almost sounds like a joke, but Elizabeth I passed a law permitting bakeries to sell them, but only at Easter and Christmas.

There is no such a law now :) and luckily we can eat hot cross buns whenever we want. Thank Goodness.
Personally, I bake hot cross buns only in spring. I think it's because there are so many festive cakes and bread to bake from  Halloween to Valentine's day. :)

Bread baking is usually pretty easy if you have time.
I had lots of time since I wanted to finish Born wicked. :)
Here goes the recipe for Cranberry hot cross buns.
(adapted(and modified) from Allrecipes. com)

3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 Cup sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg, room temperature
1 egg white
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup cranberries or any dried fruit such as raisin and currant
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons water
Cross frosting
1/2 cup icing(confectioner's) sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons water

How to make

1. In a small saucepan, or in the microwave, heat the milk until lukewarm, about 40 seconds. Put warm milk, butter, sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, and yeast in the bowl.

2. Run the stand mixer with the dough hook on.
(You can also use either a bread maker or man-power :))

3. When 5 minutes of kneading are left, add dry fruits and cinnamon.

Then the dough is ready.

4. Oil the bowl lightly and leave it in a warm place until the dough doubles.
(I preheat the oven to 170F and turned it off and let the dough rise in the warm oven)
5. Punch down on floured surface, cover, and let rest 10 minutes.

6. Shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12 inch pan.

7. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double, about 35-40 minutes.

8. Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water.

Brush on balls.

9. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes.

Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.

10. Meanwhile, combine the icing sugar and milk and mix until smooth, to make glaze.

11. Place the glaze in a paper cone or a small plastic bag.

Cut the end of the cone or bag and pipe a 'cross' on the top of each bun.

As I said above,
I heat the 2 buns for 15 seconds in the microwave, I ate them with butter and honey for the Good Friday breakfast. You can toast them too.
Remi and Mr.D also like hot cross buns very much.

You can bake hot cross buns and serve with your Easter meal. :)


Happy Easter! Joyeuses Pâques!

Hot Cross Buns


  1. This looks so easy and awesome (thanks to you super-good explanation and pictures), I wish I'd seen this morning! But I'm totally making it for tomorrow. Good Saturday it will be!

    1. Good morning Megan,
      this is actually very easy. Thanks for the compliments :)
      Good Saturday is a perfect time for hot cross buns~ Hope your daughter likes it too. My almost-8-year-old son likes hot cross buns very much.
      Happy Good Saturday! :)

  2. Mornin, darling :) I actually slept in and woke up to hubby making pancakes. That in itself is an Easter miracle LOL. But sometime this afternoon, for sure. Not only will my 8-year old like it, she will be the perfect person to draw the crosses on it (much steadier hands than mine).

    I can't wait to bite into the soft chewiness, I swear I dreamed about it all night.

    1. Evening Megan,
      Well, so you already had a miracl-icious morning! Superb.
      I know how artistic your daughter is. I saw a piece of her drawings you know. :D
      You must have made great hot cross buns~
      Happy Easter!

  3. Please forgive me but I had to use your pictures, mine came out looking like crap.. the pictures not the buns, they were PERFECT. Here's the link to my blog post about them, with full credit to you and your site, of course :)

    1. Hi Megan,
      that is totally fine~
      Thanks for letting me know. You have a wonderful evening!!
      ~ Colleen

  4. Hi Colleen
    Great blog and thankyou so much for the recipes. I have a question are you the same "Colleen K" that had a food/recipe blog in the korean language. That Colleen stopped updating that website last year and I've been looking for her english website ever since as she left no address or link for some reason?
    It would be great if you could let me know, Cheers Maggie

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.