Quick Hot Cross Buns

I know you can see these in the supermarkets most of the year now, but today’s when we’re supposed to be eating them. Here’s how you can have a beautiful batch of spicy treats in time for tea. This is the quick version, made using the bread machine.

For this recipe you will need a bread machine and either one large baking tray or two small ones.

Recipe: Quick Hot Cross Buns

Summary: The traditional spiced treat for Good Friday


  • 1 cup water, warmed to not quite ouch when you put a finger in
  • ¼ cup flavourless vegetable oil (not olive, wrong taste)
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup soft light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 ¾ cups strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp fast action yeast
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • ¼ cup glacéed peel, chopped (optional)
  • a little flour for rolling
  • 1 tbsp flour and a little water made into a thick paste
  • a little apricot jam, melted for glazing (optional)


  1. Put all the ingredients into the bread machine bucket in the order on the list, stopping before you add the fruit and peel.
  2. Select the dough setting and start the machine.
  3. Most bread machines take about 1 ½ hours to be ready on this setting.
  4. Prepare a large baking tray (or two small ones) by lining it with silicone baking paper.
  5. When the dough is ready, tip it out onto a floured board, clean out the dough which clings to the sides of the bucket and flatten the lump into a sort of rectangle(ish) about ½” / 1 cm thick.
  6. Sprinkle the sultanas and peel over the dough.
  7. Fold the fruit-covered dough by carefully picking up one of the narrow ends and folding it into the middle. Repeat with the other end.
  8. Poke back in any fruit which has escaped in the folding process.
  9. Knead gently to distribute the fruit evenly throughout.
  10. Divide the dough into between 8 and 12 small balls, depending on how large you like your buns.
  11. Poke all the fruit into the dough so that it is just below the surface. That way it won’t burn when they are baking.
  12. Take a VERY sharp knife (it has to be as sharp as you can get it or you will just drag the dough and spoil all your hard work) and gently slash the tops of the buns with a cross.
  13. Cover the tray(s) with lightly oiled cling film and leave the buns to rise in a warm place for between ½ an hour and an hour or until the buns have doubled in size.
  14. Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190°C.
  15. Pipe or dribble the flour and water paste onto the crosses of your buns.
  16. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, depending on how large your buns are and how brown you like them. To check that they are cooked, hold one upside down and gently tap the bottom with a knuckle. It should sound hollow just as bread does.
  17. If you want your buns sticky, this is when you glaze them with a little melted apricot jam.

Quick Notes

The smell from these as they are baking is irresistable! Fortunately, they are at their best eaten warm.

Preparation time (duration): two lots of about 15 minutes (+ 1½ hrs in the bread machine)

Cooking time (duration): 15 – 18 minutes

Diet type: Dairy-free

Number of servings (yield): 12

Meal type: snack, high tea, breakfast – any time really!

Microformatting by hRecipe.

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