Yael Shochat’s Hot Cross Buns

3:10 pm on 16 March 2018

Makes 12 buns


For the buns

  • 850g (6 cups) strong bread flour 
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 175g honey 
  • 60g fresh yeast (or 20g instant dry yeast) 
  • 500ml milk, at room temperature 
  • 2 tbsp flaky salt, crushed 
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon 
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg 
  • ⅓ tsp ground cloves 
  • 250g currants 
  • 125g mixed peel 

For the pastry cream crosses 

  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 400ml whole milk 
  • 50g cornflour 
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 40g unsalted butter, at room temperature 

For the sugar syrup 

  • 150g caster sugar 
  • 125ml water


  1. Combine flour, butter, honey, yeast and milk in a stand mixer or mixing bowl. Knead on low for 10 minutes then add salt and spices and knead for a further 5 minutes. If mixing by hand, transfer mixture to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Add salt and spices and knead for a further 10 minutes.

  2. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size (around 1.5 hours). Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup by bringing sugar and water to the boil in a small saucepan. Simmer for one minute, remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Once the dough has risen, knead in currants and peel until evenly distributed.

  4. Divide dough into 12 and shape into even round buns. Place on a lined baking tray and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes until doubled in size.

  5. While dough is rising, make the pastry cream. Mix cornflour, sugar, salt and eggs into a paste. In a pot, bring the milk and vanilla bean to a boil, then add butter and paste and continue to cook, whisking until thickened. Remove from heat and leave to cool, mixing regularly to prevent a skin forming.

  6. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the buns with crosses. Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes.

  7. Pipe a cross of pastry cream into the scored lines on the buns. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes, until buns are medium brown.

  8. Allow buns to cool for 5 minutes before brushing the tops with sugar syrup.