Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Perfect Hot Cross buns are easy this Easter with my simple recipe. This recipe makes super soft, deliciously fluffy buns. The addition of a bit of milk and butter gives the buns a richer taste and texture. Best of all the whole house will smell delicious as the buns bake!
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Our family always celebrates Easter with freshly made bread. We usually make hot cross buns, but in years past we have made brioche cooked with tye-dye boiled eggs, Filipino Ensaymada, and many other special Easter bread. I started this tradition because I wanted to make sure the kids had something in their stomachs before they launched into the chocolate Easter eggs.
Other Easter Recipes
I know we all love Hot Cross buns at Easter time but I do think it's a great excuse to eat a little extra chocolate in the lead-up to Easter. These Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies make the perfect addition to a child's lunchbox and have just the right amount of chocolate to put a smile on their face.
If you're having a BBQ lunch and looking for an Easter dessert my Easter Chocolate Mousse is the perfect solution. It looks fancy but it is really very simple! Best of all it is total chocolatey goodness!
I could have just given the kids cereal for breakfast, like any other morning... but then it would be special.
The recipe I'm sharing was printed in the recipe booklet which came with my breadmaker. The breadmaker is more than 20 years old so I've been making these hot cross buns for a long time. Over the years I've altered the recipe slightly and they always work out perfectly.
However, once I bought my Thermomix there was no need for the breadmaker. So I kept the hot cross bun recipe and adjusted it for the Thermomix and gave away the breadmaker.
How to Proof Hot Cross, Bun Dough
When you are doing the first proof for any dough you should allow the dough to proof until it has reached double the original size. When the yeast is in its optimum conditions this can be a quick process, taking perhaps 1 hour. Although if conditions are not optimal, the yeast can take longer to become active and the proofing time may take all day.
Optimal conditions for yeast
Yeast is a living organism and is the aerating component of the dough. In order to get light fluffy buns it's important to understand how yeast works, and how to optimise conditions to get the best outcome.
- Use a yeast that is within its "best before date." Old yeast can risk the success of your baked goods. Commercial-purchased dehydrated yeast is in a dormant state when purchased. It is a perishable item and will become less viable as a rising agent the longer it has remained in dehydrated form.
- Adding sugar and warm water to the yeast as a first step allows the yeast to become active. The warm water at 37% rehydrates the yeast and is the temperature the yeast likes. Sugar is an easy fuel for yeast and is its first feed.
- The number next key variable when proofing dough is the outside temperature. The yeast becomes more active in a warm environment.
- To speed up the proofing process, cover the dough and bowl with a tea towel and leave it in a sunny spot to proof. If it is a particularly cold day place the covered bowl in your car, or in the oven with just the oven light on.
- Always continue to proof the dough until it has doubled in size, regardless of how long it takes.
Why do a second proof?
The second proof is just as important as the first. The first proof brings the dough to double the size. This proves to us that we have awoken the yeast properly and it is active enough to produce a loaf or buns. The reason we do a second proof is we want to knead the dough lightly to redistribute the yeast and bubbles. This ensures an even bake with a regular size air bubble and a better texture.
The second proof allows the dough to be formed in the required shape. For the Hot cross buns, we form the dough into 12 buns. Please see the video for a demo on how to shape the buns.
Once the dough has been shaped the second proof is usually quicker as the yeast is already active and producing carbon dioxide which aerates the dough. The buns need to be allowed to proof until they have risen to the size of the finished bun. They will not continue to rise in the oven.
When the buns are the correct size it is time to bake them.
Chocolate Hot Cross Buns Variation
If you would like to make the Bakers Delight style chocolate Easter Buns the recipe is easily adjusted.
Using the original hot cross bun recipe;
- omit the spices and substitute 2 teaspoons of dutch processed cocoa powder.
- omit sultanas and add 200gm chocolate bits.
Iced Hot Cross Buns Variation
I also like to use icing sugar to make the cross on my hot cross buns instead of the traditional flour paste cross. If you want to add an icing cross you will still need to glaze the buns with the sugar glaze whilst they're hot. Once the buns have cooled decorate them with a thick white icing sugar cross.
Before you BAKE!
Would you like to eat these Hot Cross Buns fresh in the morning without all the work??
You can prepare the dough the night before and bake them in the morning.
Simply complete the method up to the point where the buns are doing their second proof in the baking tray.
- Spray some plastic film with oil and cover the Easter buns.
- Place them in the fridge.
- leave overnight
In the morning;
- Remove the hot cross buns from the fridge
- Allow them to come to room temperature
- Make your cross mixture and pipe the cross onto the buns.
- Preheat the oven.
To cook, bake as normal. Glaze and enjoy.
If you would prefer something equally as delicious but a little quicker, why not try my delicious Thermomix pancakes? These are another tasty breakfast treat.
FAQ Hot Cross Buns
If you are using old yeast you can test it by putting the yeast in ½ cup of warm water with a teaspoon of sugar. Leave it for 15 minutes in a warm spot. If this yeast is still active it will start to bubble. This means it is still active and okay to use.
No, place the tray somewhere warm and allow the buns to warm up, ideally 25 degrees or so is good. Allow the buns to fully rise before placing them in the oven to cook.
If your dough hasn't doubled the yeast isn't completely active yet. You need to allow the organisms as much time as they need. You can help them by making conditions optimal. Place the dough in a warmer environment. Perhaps put some warm water in the sink and place the bowl in the warm water and leave it covered for another hour or so.
Bread is not like cake. It doesn't rise in the oven because the dough is heavy. Plus the rise comes from the yeast expelling carbon dioxide and raising the dough. Once the yeast is heated in the oven it dies, so it is no longer expelling carbon dioxide. For this reason, the bread won't rise in the oven and proofing is very important.
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Thermomix Hot Cross Buns
- 200 g water warm tap water
- 2 teaspoon dried yeast
- 560 g bakers flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 90 g milk warm
- 2 teaspoon bread improver
- 70 g sugar
- 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 50 g butter at room temp
- 200 g sultanas
- 80 g water
- 80 g flour
- 40 g water
- 40 g sugar
- Place water, yeast, milk, butter and sugar in TM bowl. Combine 3 min/40 degrees/Speed 2.200 g water, 90 g milk, 70 g sugar, 50 g butter, 2 teaspoon dried yeast
- Add flour, salt, bread improver, cinnamon & nutmeg to TM bowl. Combine 40 sec/Speed 3.560 g bakers flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon bread improver, 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Scrape down the bowl if necessary. Knead 2 min/Dough
- Add the sultanas. Knead 50 sec/Dough.200 g sultanas
- Remove the dough from the TM bowl and incorporate and lose sultanas by hand.
- Spray the Thermoserver with oil and place the dough in the covered Thermoserver to proof. (Proof the dough until it has doubled in size) The time it takes will be dependent on the temperature. In a warm environment it could take as little as 1 hour. In the cold it may take 3-4 hours).
- Line a tray with baking paper.
- Once the dough has doubled in size remove the dough from the Thermoserver and place on an oiled bench. Knead the dough by hand and divide into 12 equal buns.
- Pre-heat a fan forced oven heated to 170 degrees or a regular oven to 180.
- Place the buns, side by side on the prepared baking tray leaving a small gap so that the buns will eventually touch as they proof. The buns need to proof until they have doubled in size.
- Place the baking tray in a warm place with a tea towel to cover. The time the buns take to rise depends on the outside temperature. Keep the buns as warm as possible.
- Once the buns have double in size it’s time to make the decorative cross.
- In a small bowl add the flour and water. Stir by hand until combined.80 g water, 80 g flour
- Use a piping bag to draw a cross over the tops of the buns.
- Place the buns in the oven and cook for 25-35 minutes.
- Place the sugar and water in a microwave proof dish. Microwave 50 sec on high.
- Once the buns come out of the oven apply the hot glaze immediately to the top of the buns with a pastry brush.40 g water, 40 g sugar
- Allow the buns to cool.
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