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Finding the first spring blossoms, wild crocuses, is a tradition in our area.

Hot Cross Buns

Dough on its way to becoming hot cross buns
Dough on its way to becoming hot cross buns

Hot crossed buns are a traditional Easter favourite at our house. I got the recipe from my mom’s recipe box.  My mom probably got it from her mom. Although we don’t know where this particular recipe originated, hot cross buns are a food that connects our family through the generations.

Hot Cross Buns:

¼ cup raw honey
1 1/3 cup milk (scald)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter

Scald the milk and stir the honey, salt and butter into the hot milk.


Proof the yeast:

While the milk is cooling, proof the yeast:

½ cup warm water
2 teaspoons raw honey
2 TBSP yeast

Allow yeast to rise and combine:

When the milk mixture has cooled to warm and the yeast has risen, pour both mixtures into a large bowl and add:

Crocuses often bloom around Easter
Crocuses often bloom around Easter

2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. grated lemon rind

Add spices:

5 ½ cups flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. mace
¼ tsp. cloves

Mix spices with flour and add enough flour to the liquid mixture to form a soft dough

Add fruit:

Add the fruit peel and raisins to the dough

½ cup mixed peel
1 cup raisins

Make the buns:

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.
Punch dough down, shape into rolls and cut small crosses into the top of each roll.
Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350F.

Bake until golden brown (18-20 minutes).

Fresh buns ready to be crossed
Fresh buns ready to be crossed

Add the crosses:

When hot cross buns are cool, or just before serving, fill crosses with a thin butter frosting.

¼ cup butter (room temperature so that it is soft)
1 cup icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 TBSP milk or cream

Cream butter and icing sugar together.  Add vanilla and milk (or cream).  Continue to add small amounts of milk or cream until desired consistency.

Hot Cross Buns - an essential part of Easter Brunch
Hot Cross Buns – an essential part of Easter Brunch

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