Sourdough hot cross buns


With easter on the way, I've been thinking about trying my hand at sourdough hot cross buns. It's my first ever attempt at any buns, let alone sourdough, but inspired by these threads

I thought I'd give it a go.

I settled on SourDom's recipe:

340g (soy) milk
250g strong white flour
1 tsp starter

Leave for ~12 hours

Soak 250g dried fruit (currants, raisins, candied peel) in boiling water, and leave for 12 hours

200g strong white flour
50g wholemeal flour
7g salt
75g brown sugar
1/2 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp gr ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1tsp cinnamon
75g margarine/butter
melt the margarine and mix into the dry ingredients
add starter and fruit

Mix/knead briefly, leave for 10 minutes
Bulk for 3-4 hours, with folds every hour

Divide into 14 x  90g (~12 x 100g), shape
Put in fridge overnight

The next morning
make piping mix
5g olive oil
25g water
23g flour

Brush tops of buns with (soy) milk
Pipe on crosses

Bake at ~200C for ~25 mins

Make sugar syrup
25g caster sugar
25g water
simmer in saucepan until dissolved, and then a minute or two

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

For the preferment, I didn't quite trust my standard white starter to have anough strength in just a teaspoon, so I used 60g starter, mixed in with 310g milk and 220g white flour (Defiance Baker's flour). Overnight it didn't seem to bulk up as much as usual, perhaps it was the milk?

But poking it with a fork showed a lot of bubbles. It had a lovely fruity, yeasty smell so I thought I'd give it a go.

It mixed up to quite a sticky dough, the amount of fat in it made it easier to handle though. My shaping left a bit to be desired but packing the buns into a high-sided tin pretty well held them in shape.


I left them to prove for 2 1/2 hours on the bench then milk washed and piped the crosses on


Baked at 200C for 35 minutes. The finished product were beautifully moist and chewy, with the right density and plenty of flavour. I'll be making a few more batches of these over the next few weeks!

I'll try for a crumb shot tomorrow morning when I have one for breakfast :) 




410 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 March 7

Hello Taringa,

Nice buns ;-)

Have plans to do the same myself but I'm more of a traditionalist and wait until easter.

Keep on bakin'


lenohbabe's picture
lenohbabe 2012 March 13

Taringa, I tried your Sourdom recipe this weekend and WOW !!!  they were amazing. My buns were not as pretty as yours, thats a work in progress.  I also used your measure of 60g starter as like you didn't think my starter had the oomph !!  What difference does more or less starter make ??? 

I made a wee change that I thought you might like to try.......its a Scottish thing .........instead of soaking the fruit just in water, try soaking it in tea with a wee drop  whiskey (to your taste).

My dough was very wet so the buns were really hard to shape...........maybe because I used too much whiskey .....hic !

farinam's picture
farinam 2012 March 27

Having found out that I might be out of town for Easter, I decided that I wasn't going to miss out this year.  So, dug out a recipe, cranked up the starter and pressed on regardless.  I only soaked the fruit in water - forgot about lenohbabe's excellent advice.

Very tasty, I might add - even without the whisky.

Keep on bakin'.



farinam's picture
farinam 2012 April 6

Well, wouldn't you know it, the possible trip out of town didn't eventuate -yet.  So nothing for it but to make another batch of buns on Good Friday.  Well the preparation started the day before but who's counting.

This time, I listened to my own advice about the effect of rich doughs on proving time and so that they would be ready for baking this morning gave them a retarded proving in the fridge over-night.  I also diverged from the recipe in that it recommended leaving the buns spaced apart to give individual buns as shown in the last post and put them into a smaller tray.  The combination of the longer proving and the self support gave a much higher rise and a significantly lighter texture.

I also skipped the fruit soaking as the fruit was fresh and plump already and I found the extra moisture seemed to make the fruit harder to incorporate - sorry lenohbabe - no whisky.

This is one bread where the impulse to eat as soon as it comes out of the oven should be given into.

Feeling pretty pleased with myself - and suitably stuffed.


laurenb275 2013 March 29
Hi, I'm new here, been sourdough baking for a year and attempted there lovely looking hot cross buns today...I followed the recipe using 60g starter....and ended up with something more akin to bread pudding than a hot cross bun...they were extremely dense, and I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas why? Thanks!
farinam's picture
farinam 2013 March 29

Hi laurenb275,

Without a bit more detail of what you did, the time you took, the characteristics of the dough etc it's a bit hard to diagnose.

I would think that maybe they were not given enough time to prove (expand in volume) before baking.  The time required will depend on the temperature you are working at and also rich doughs such as these require significantly longer than a plain bread dough.

Hope this helps but if you can give a bit more detail we might be able to comment further.

Good luck with your projects.


Simonrecordplayer 2013 May 6

Just gotta give you some props for this awesome recipe! Dead easy and I keep making them. Soaking in tea n liquor also set it orf! 

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