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Scrumptious Sourdough Hot Cross Buns + Beyond The Plate Cookbook Feature

Scrumptious Sourdough Hot Cross Buns

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  • Total Time: 22 hrs 9 mins
  • Yield: 12 buns 1x




  • 80 g white wheat flour (bread flour)
  • 20 g brown sugar
  • 25 g active mother sourdough starter
  • 35 g water


  • 350 g white wheat flour (bread flour) (100%)
  • all of the above starter (appr. 160g) (42%)
  • 2 eggs (appr. 100 g) (28%)
  • 50 g brown sugar (12%)
  • 85 g unsalted softened butter (24%)
  • 7 g salt (2%)
  • 110 g milk (31%)
  • 90 g raisins, soaked in rum (25%) 
  • lemon zest of one lemon
  • orange zest of one orange
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Hot Cross Paste

  • 70 g flour
  • 20 g oil
  • 60 g water

Vanilla Sugar Glaze

  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs boiling hot water
  • pinch of vanilla powder


  1. In the morning, prepare your sourdough starter. The starter will be stiff, more like a dough. Leave it to ferment until doubled in volume. This may take from 4-12 hours, depending on the environment temperature and strength of your mother starter. If your starter doubled very fast but you are not ready to make the dough, put the jar in the fridge.
  2. In the late afternoon mix the dough. (I used mixer to knead the dough.) In a large mixing bowl put milk, starter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, eggs, flour and salt. Mix everything together. If the dough feels dry, don’t be tempted to add too much of additional liquid – mixing in the butter in the following phase will soften the dough (experiment with the softness of the dough) – but do add the liquid if you can’t incorporate all the flour. Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes and then leave it to rest for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Next, knead in half of the butter quantity. Once completely integrated, add and knead in the other half. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes (it is advisable to use mixer) until smooth and elastic – check how transparent can the dough be if you stretch it. Leave the dough to rest for 5 minutes, then knead in the raisins, orange and lemon peel. Shape the dough into ball and place it into clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment at the room temperature for 2 hours, then put the bowl into the fridge overnight.
  4. In the morning, take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into 12 pieces, each weighing around 73-74 g. Shape each piece into a ball and place it on slightly floured tray lined with parchment paper. When done, cover the tray with clingfilm – this will prevent the dough from drying out. Leave the balls to rise until passing the poking test (appr. doubled in volume) – make an indent – if the indent comes back quickly, leave them to ferment a little bit more. Final rise may take 4-7 hours, depending on temperature.
  5. When the balls are almost risen, preheat the oven to 220°C/428°F.  Just before putting the pan into oven spread the hot cross paste across the buns. Put in the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 220°C/428°F, then decrease to 200°C/392°C and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. When you take the pan out of the oven, immediately brush the buns with sugar glaze. Leave the buns to cool down a little bit. These buns are the best when eaten slightly warm.


  • Baker’s percentages are put in brackets if you would like to scale up or down the formula.
  • The dough for these hot cross buns was mixed in the late afternoon, left to rise for 2 hours at room temperature, put in the fridge overnight, shaped in the morning, left to rise for couple of hours and baked in the afternoon of that day.
  • Please feel free to add more liquid (steps of 10 g), if you feel the dough is too stiff and all the flour is difficult to incorporate. Don’t be tempted to add a lot of liquid as you add butter in the second stage of dough mixing which softens the dough.
  • I used rum macerated raisins. This means I mixed rum, raisins, vanilla powder, lemon and orange peel and left the mixture to soak for about three weeks to get the heavenly taste and flavors. If you don’t have raisins prepared in this way, just soak the raisins in rum at about same time you prepare the starter for the dough. Soaked raisins will add moisture to the dough and extra flavor dimension compared to dry ones.
  • Author: Natasha Krajnc
  • Prep Time: 21 hrs 39 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins