Pull Apart Hot Cross Buns

There’s nothing like freshly baked hot cross buns! The fragrant aroma that fills the kitchen when they’re baking is so satisfying and homely and will have everyone gathering in the kitchen when they’re ready to be eaten.

I was going to call this blog “Easy pull apart Easter buns”, but after using a recipe that I got from New World and finding it didn’t work – think incorrect measurements and a sticky mess – the word easy didn’t seem appropriate!

The recipe I’m sharing here has been adapted by Portia, who is the expert baker in our house. This version actually works and produces delicious soft Easter buns. We’ve also added a vegan/eggless option (pictured above), which was just as good.

These buns need plenty of time to rise; you can do the first two processes, leave it overnight to double, then bake in the morning. Fresh Easter buns for breakfast, mmmm.

Pull Apart Hot Cross Buns

4 cups flour

1 tsp salt

¼ cup soft brown sugar or raw Manuka honey

1 Tbsp Surebake Yeast

½ cup boiling water

½ cup milk or nut, rice o

r oat milk (Portia used almond)

25g butter or vegetable spread melted (Portia used Olivani)

1 egg or egg replacer, beaten (Portia used Organ egg replacer)

1 tsp cinnamon – if you have time to grind your own from fresh it’s worth it

1½ tsp mixed spice

3/4 cup currants (or take out ¼ and add ¼ cup candied orange)

1 sheet sweet short pastry, thawed & rolled

⅓ cup real maple syrup

Here’s how to make them 

You’ll need a greased medium sized cake tin or a baking tray.

First of all mix 1 cup of flour (save the rest for later) with the sugar, salt and yeast.

Then combine the milk and boiling water, pour this over the dry ingredients and stir well.

Get another bowl and mix together the melted butter or spread, beaten egg/replacer, mixed spice and cinnamon.

Add to the yeast mix and stir well to combine along with the currants.

Add a further 2½ cups of flour and mix well to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a board and knead the dough, incorporating as much of the remaining ½ cup of flour as necessary. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Knead for approximately 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth.

You don’t want your buns to look like this …

Wash and dry the mixing bowl. Return the dough to the bowl. Cover and leave in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured board. Cut the dough into about 6-9 even sized pieces.

Shape into balls and place them in a circle (leaving 1 ball for the middle) if using a round cake tin, or shape into a rectangle if using a baking tray, leave a gap between each ball as they will expand.

Cover and leave in a warm place until the buns have doubled in size, this can take a while depending on the temperature, you can leave overnight.

When the buns have doubled preheat the oven to 200°C on fan bake.

Cut thin strips from the pastry sheet. Brush the buns with a little milk. Place the crosses on top, cutting the pastry to fit.

Place the buns into the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180°C, fan bake and continue cooking a further 10-15 minutes until the buns are golden and cooked. Remove from the oven.

Leave to stand in the tin on a cooling rack for 5 minutes then remove. Brush the tops liberally with maple syrup. Pull the buns apart and serve warm with butter or vegetable spread.

If you happen to be in Auckland around Easter go and check out Ima Cusine’s famous hot cross buns, touted as the best in the world! They’re on Fort Street, here’s the article in stuff   They look and sound amazing!


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