Overnight hot cross buns

Straight from the oven or lightly toasted, these fruit-studded buns are a Good Friday breakfast ritual dating back centuries. This recipe is from our cookbook Baking from our Test Kitchen Collection.
hot cross buns on a trayJohn Paul Urizar
1H 25M


Hot cross buns
Flour paste


1.**Overnight or 12 hours ahead:** Place orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat; add dried fruit, cover and set aside at room temperature overnight. Place ginger beer, spices, yeast and 2¼ cups (360g) of the flour in a medium bowl; whisk until smooth. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
2.**On the morning of making:** Combine soaked fruit, yeast mixture, orange rind, butter and egg in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar, salt and remaining flour; stand for 10 minutes.
3.Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead for 10 seconds, then set aside for 10 minutes. Repeat kneading and standing two more times. Place dough in a large, greased bowl; cover with a clean damp tea towel. Stand in a warm place to prove for 1 hour or until risen slightly.
4.Line a large oven tray with baking paper. Divide dough into 18 equal portions; shape each into a ball. Place buns, touching, on lined tray in three rows of six. Cover with a clean damp tea towel. Stand for 1½-2 hours (the proving time will vary depending on the ambient temperature) or until risen slightly.

Flour paste

5.Meanwhile, combine flour and sugar in a small bowl. Gradually stir in ⅓ cup (80ml) water, or enough to form a smooth firm paste. Spoon paste into a small piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle.
6.Preheat oven to 200°C (180’C fan-forced). Pipe flour paste on buns in a cross. Bake buns for 25 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped.


7.Place sugar, spices and ⅓ cup (80ml) water in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook 5 minutes or until thickened slightly. Cool.
8.Brush hot buns with cooled glaze; transfer buns to a wire rack to cool.

Baked buns suitable to freeze. Use any combination of mixed dried fruit you prefer such as raisins, golden raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed peel or cranberries. If using mixed peel, omit the orange rind. Ginger beer can be replaced with cider, beer, stout or apple juice.


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