hot cross buns – no knead variety as well as a traditional recipe

Two recipes for hot cross buns, one traditional and one based on my no knead bread recipe. Take your pick!

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My beautiful friend, fellow breeder of boys and blogger Ruth (of Gourmet Girlfriend fame) has been responsible for a renaissance of no knead bread making. Seriously, check out #ggbreadrevolution on instagram to see all the bready goodness.

Of course this is doing nothing for my current carb binging due to life stress but at least it’s homemade I guess.

Anyway, I’ve been using my failsafe no knead bread recipe from the esteemed Joe and have been experimenting.

Because hot cross buns involve fruit and spices, which inhibit rising agents in dough, most hot cross buns are in a bread base more like a brioche using milk and butter in the dough. I’ve got a great recipe for hot cross buns (see later in post) but decided to see if the no knead recipe worked with fruit and spice.

Things I’d do differently next time and have altered accordingly in the recipe following:

  • increase yeast to 1/2tsp
  • reduce sultanas to 3/4 cup
  • reduce spice to 1tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp all spice
  • cook at higher temp


What, I like sultanas
What, I like sultanas

No knead hot cross buns

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup water, + 2tbsp
  • 1/4 cup beer, + 2tbsp
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sultanas
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup water


  1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt, water, beer and vinegar until it’s a shaggy mess, cover and let sit somewhere warm for 8-18 hours
  2. Turn out onto a floured benchtop and push into a rectangular shape – sprinkle over the sultanas and spices
  3. Fold the two long sides of the rectangle into the middle and then do a couple of folds until the sultanas are spread through the dough – it took me about 10-15 folds.
  4. Divide into 12 buns – they’re about 85 grams each if you’re a stickler for regularity. You can do them individually or make a round starting with one bun in the middle and working outwards.
  5. Mix the 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup water together and then drop into a snap lock bag. Clip the corner off one side of the snap lock back and pipe the paste across the buns to form the crosses.
  6. Leave to rise for 2 hours.
  7. Bake at 220C for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Best served on the day of baking and ideally warm, slathered in butter.

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Traditional hot cross buns

One of my (many) kryptonite foods
One of my (many) kryptonite foods

For the buns

  • 2 tblsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 85g butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sultanas (or 1 cup sultanas, 1/2 cup raisins and/or currants)
  • 1/3 cup candied peel (or finely grated rind of an orange and a lemon)
  1. Combine the yeast, sugar and milk until bubbles form
  2. Add everything else
  3. Mix with a palate knife to combine, then knead for 5-10 minutes
  4. Place dough in an oiled boil and set aside for 30 mins
  5. Knock back, divide into 12 (or 24 to make mini-buns), place in a greased 23cm square tin (or place close together on a baking tray for freer form), cover and let rise until doubled.
  6. Top with cross paste and bakeĀ at 200C for 20 mins
  7. Brush over glaze.

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For the crosses

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  1. Mix together into a paste
  2. Put into a bag of some description (I use a snaplock bag, then cut off one corner)
  3. Draw crosses over the top

For the glaze

  • 2 tblsp sugar
  • 1 tsp gelatine
  • 2 tblsp water
  1. Combine over heat and cook until the gelatine dissolves
  2. Brush over warm buns

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  • Ruth

    Oh Kim- i melted at the first few lines and then couldn’t really concentrate!
    How utterly lovely are those kind words.
    Seriously dude you are the bees knees.
    and if ANY of my kids would eat dried fruit I would SOOOO be making these- but plain bread it will have to be for now.
    On with the #ggbreadrevolution
    Love ya.