Last year I made hot cross buns and whilst they were OK, they weren't brilliant. This year I tried my hand at hot cross buns again, but this time using a sourdough recipe. I have a sourdough starter that is heading towards it's second birthday so thought I'd use it to make hot cross buns.

This is the recipe I used (taken from here):

Sourdough hot cross bun starter
after 12 hours of fermentation
  1. Make your starter by mixing in a bowl:
    • 340g (soy) milk
    • 250g strong white flour
    • 1 tbsp starter

    ... and leave for about 12 hours or overnight in a warm place.

  2. Soak 250g dried fruit (currants, raisins, candied peel) in boiling water and leave for 12 hours or overnight.
  3. After 12 hours, or the next morning, make your dough by mixing:
    • 200g strong white flour
    • 50g wholemeal flour
    • 7g salt
    • 75g brown sugar
    • ½ tsp allspice, ½ tsp gr ginger, ½ tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 75g melted butter

    ... in a bowl.

  4. Add starter and fruit
  5. Mix/knead briefly, leave for 10 minutes. Repeat.
  6. Bulk for 3-4 hours, with folds every hour
  7. Divide into 14 x 90g (≈12 x 100g) and shape
  8. Put in fridge overnight.
  9. The next morning make the Piping mix:
    • 5g olive oil
    • 25g water
    • 23g flour
  10. Brush tops of buns with (soy) milk
  11. Pipe on crosses
  12. Bake at ≈200°C for ≈25 mins
  13. Make Sugar syrup:
    • 25g caster sugar
    • 25g water

    Simmer in saucepan until dissolved, and then a further minute or two.

  14. Glaze warm buns with sugar syrup after they come out of the oven.

I followed this recipe with a few variations:

  • I used normal milk. Soy milk? You must be joking.
  • I didn't have any allspice, so instead my spice mix was: ¾ tsp of mixed spice, ¼ tsp of cinnamon, ½ tsp grated fresh ginger.
  • The dough came out very very sticky so I ended up adding probably another two or three handfuls of flour during the kneading stage.
  • I needed to make two batches of cross paste as I ran out very quickly.

And here are my sourdough hot cross buns, fresh out the oven and just glazed:


After I'd baked my buns, Claire pointed out I'd actually used less spice than the original recipe and whilst the hot cross buns were very tasty, they were definitely lacking in the spice department.

Next time I plan on upping the spice content, upping the flour by 100g and also adding some grated orange zest instead of having the orange candied peel from the fruit mix. It definitely could have done with a more pronounced orangy zing.

Oh yes, and these hot cross buns were very very very yummy cut in half, lightly toasted and schmeered with butter :-p . I'll be making more of these this year, just without the crosses.