Gourmet Traveller’s Ultimate Hot Cross Buns

Makes: 12

We are big fans of Gourmet Traveller and I always have a backlog of their magazines and recipes to get through.

Their various collections of recipes are always successful. Hand on heart, I have never been disappointed by a GT recipe.

Nat found this recipe in what presumably was an Easter edition and it was simply great. It’s origins are in three other hot cross bun recipes that GT was sampling, this being the culmination.

This is by no means the easiest hot cross bun recipe out there.

Though we all know that you get what you pay for: the fruits soaked overnight in the sherry, the orange juice and the vanilla bean in the glaze.

I mean, this is luxury and a case of very much getting what you paid for.

Odd time to post a hot cross bun recipe given we are equidistant periods away from Easter at the time I post, though I mentioned the backlog: bookmark these for Easter.

They’re smashing.


100gm currants
100gm sultanas
Juice of 1 orange
40ml Pedro Ximenez (sherry)
50gm candied orange peel, finely chopped
200ml milk
3 tsp dried yeast
470gm strong baker’s flour
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 stop ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground gloves
60gm light brown sugar
1 egg
60gm softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
1/2 tsp sunflower oil


2/3 c caster sugar
Juice of 1 orange
Scraped seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean


  1. Combine currants and sultanas in a bowl with orange juice and Pedro Ximenez, cover and soak overnight. Stir through candied peel and set aside.
  2. Warm half the milk in a saucepan over low heat until just lukewarm, then combine with yeast in a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Place 420gm flour, combined spices (reserve 1/4 tsp spice mixture), sugar, egg, yeast mixture, remaining milk and 3/4 tsp salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low speed until combined (5 minutes). Add butter, zest and oil and mix until combined. Drain soaked fruit (reserving the liquid). Stir fruit through dough just until incorporated. Place dough in a bowl lightly greased with butter. Cover and set aside to prove until dough has doubled in size (2 hours).
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Knock back dough, divide into 12 pieces, then roll each into a smooth ball, dusting with a little flour if needed to prevent dough sticking (do not add too much as dough will become tough). Place buns on tray in even rows, leaving a 2cm gap. Set aside to prove until doubled in size (30 – 40 minutes).
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C. Combine remaining flour and reserved spice mixture into a small bowl with 40ml water and mix to a paste. Transfer paste to a piping bag, snip the end and pipe crosses over buns: bake until golden and cooked through (25 – 30 mins).
  6. For glaze, combine ingredients and 1 – 2 tbsp reserved fruit liquid in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and a syrup forms (2 – 3 minutes). While buns are hot, brush syrup over liberally, then set aside to cool slightly. Serve hot cross buns warm or at room temperature.
  7. Or halve, toast and serve with good butter like we did!

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