Recipe: Hot Cross Buns

08 April 2020

— by Verena Neumayr-Howes —

This famous spiced sweet bun is a staple in most South African households during Easter. Its origins are a bit of a mystery – one theory is that Brother Thomas Rodcliffe, a 14th-century monk from St Albans in the UK, developed the first bun, called ‘Alban Bun’.

There were also signs of hot cross buns during Elizabeth I’s reign, when their sale was forbidden except at burials, on Good Friday, or at Christmas. The first real record of hot cross buns however comes from a London street cry in 1733: “Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns”.

Whatever its origins, there is no denying that the humble Hot Cross Bun is utterly moreish. Nowadays you can find many variations (chocolate Hot Cross Buns anyone?) but our recipe by Tronette Dippenaar, Head Chef at The Marine hotel in Hermanus, stays faithful to the original made with spiced fruit.

RECIPE: Hot Cross Buns

Madagascan Chocolate Cake

Bun Ingredients

  • 500g flour
  • 2.5 ml salt
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2.5 ml ground nutmeg
  • 45 ml butter
  • 10g dry yeast
  • 125 ml lukewarm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 125 ml lukewarm water
  • 5 ml sugar
  • 125 ml mixed dry fruits (mix peel)

Bun Method

  • Sift dry ingredients
  • Rub in butter
  • Make a well and add active dry yeast, sugar, beaten egg
  • Add extra tempered liquid to bind
  • Knead dough (rub oil on hands and knead thoroughly)
  • Prove for 45 minutes
  • Knock back the dough
  • Add fruit peel & knead gently
  • Shape in round buns
  • Prove for 45 minutes

Cross Ingredients

  • 100 ml cake flour
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 50 ml milk
  • Pinch of salt

Cross Method

  • Mix all ingredients, just enough milk to form piping consistency

Decorate and Baking

  • Once buns are proved, pipe the crosses on
  • Bake at 220 C for 15-20 mins

Enjoy with family and friends.

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