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Hot Cross Buns – 100% Spelt Sourdough


Hot Cross Buns 100% Spelt Sourdough

Hot Cross Buns 100% Spelt Sourdough

What ever happened to Chelsea buns, Boston buns, coffee scrolls and the plethora of yeasted sticky fruit buns of different shapes, sizes and garnishes that adorned the display window of the local bakery when I was a kid?

It seems they have gone in the direction of beehive hairdos and smoking, unfashionable and bad for your health, except at Easter we embrace our inner child and scoff Hot Cross Buns by the truckload. It’s not without reason that the supermarkets begin to stack their shelves with Easter buns early each New Year, customers can’t get enough.

But have you ever eaten a Hot Cross Bun bought in the supermarket? They are a first cousin of the pappy white sliced bread available on the next shelf. They lack spice, fruit, flavour and texture.

I’m a traditionalist when it comes to Easter buns. I like my buns just sweet but super moist. I like them to be studded generously with currants, warm with spices and citrus zest and have the textural variation of a few chopped nuts added. They must be topped with a sparkling jewel like glaze.

For the Easters in the recent past I’ve searched out and bought artisan buns, but since the seismic shift toward excellence with my 100% spelt sourdough bread, I’ve been thinking about home made Hot Cross Buns, about devising a formula that will translate into the above mentioned warmly remembered buns of my childhood.

100% Spelt Sourdough Hot Cross Buns

300g activated spelt sourdough starter

485g organic white spelt flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

60g brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

finely grated zest of an orange

2 large eggs, whisked lightly

60g melted butter, cooled

90 mls milk, lightly warmed to remove the fridge chill

60g roughly chopped walnuts

90g currants

Whisk the flour, salt, sugar and spices together to thoroughly combine.

Lightly whisk together the eggs, butter, milk and zest to combine.

Weigh the starter into a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients, then the wet and mix into a shaggy dough.

Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Lightly flour the bench, tip the dough onto the bench then knead until smooth.

Stretch the dough into an oblong then sprinkle the currants and nuts over the dough then continue kneading until the fruit is evenly distributed.

Return the dough to the fridge in a greased bowl and allow to rest for 40 minutes.

Remove the dough from the fridge then stretch it into a large oblong on the bench. Fold the edges to the middle over and over until you have a tight boule.

Return the dough to buttered bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap then prove the dough overnight in the fridge. My dough had 13 hours.

The next morning, divide the dough into 14 X 80g pieces.

Line an oven tray with baking paper.

Shape the buns by flattening each piece then folding the edges into the centre until the outside surface is taut and most of the fruit is within.

Place the shaped buns on the paper lined tray 1cm apart, then cover them loosely with oiled plastic and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200C

Crosses:  Make a thick slurry with 1 heaped tablespoon gluten free flour, 1 heaped tablespoon spelt flour, pinch of baking powder and 2 tablespoons water.

Pipe the crosses onto the buns then put them immediately into the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes at 200C.

Reduce the heat to 180C and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Glaze: In a small pan heat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water until the sugar has melted.

Immediately after you remove the buns from the oven, brush generously with the glaze, then set the buns aside to cool on wire rack.


About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

24 comments on “Hot Cross Buns – 100% Spelt Sourdough

  1. Kate
    October 13, 2021

    What happens if you don’t refridgerate the dough overnight but instead just prove it outside for less time? Just wondering about doing the whole thing in a day …


    • ladyredspecs
      October 13, 2021

      Hi Kate, it’s definitely okay to bake in a day, however slowly fermented sourdough is much easier to digest and for me that’s a major consideration


  2. leenasilly
    April 13, 2020

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m a complete novice but baked these using my wholewheat sourdough starter, left out the zest and fruit, and added dark chocolate chunks. I was worried they wouldn’t rise but they did wonderfully. They were absolutely delicious! We also glazed with some maple syrup when they came out of the oven.


    • ladyredspecs
      April 13, 2020

      So glad you took my formula and made it your own, recipes after all, are just a guide😃


  3. Pingback: Spelt Sourdough Hot Cross Buns #3 | Please Pass the Recipe

  4. Pingback: Hot Cross Buns: 100% spelt sourdough | Please Pass the Recipe

  5. ChgoJohn
    April 15, 2016

    I received a notice in yesterday’s email that “The Perfect Loaf” had posted another recipe, this one for spelt sourdough. I immediately thought of you. I don’t know if you’ll find it interesting or perhaps even useful. If nothing else, the photos are good. 🙂 His is a great site for all things bread. I hope you’ll enjoy it.


  6. dunelight
    March 15, 2016

    I need to mark this. I make spelt noodles but I’ve never made spelt bread or rolls.


    • ladyredspecs
      March 16, 2016

      Spelt handles a little differently to wheat in breadbaking. I’ve never made noodles with it, how does it compare


  7. ChgoJohn
    March 14, 2016

    I agree, Sandra. SO many truly good recipes have fallen by the wayside because they are deemed not healthy enough. The reality is that we need to exercise a bit of restraint and thereby eat a larger variety of foods. Home made hot cross buns would certainly be on my list. Yours look wonderful. I can almost smell them baking. 🙂


    • ladyredspecs
      March 16, 2016

      The spicy sweet aroma of baking buns was almost too much to endure John. The flavour didn’t disappoint either.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. circusgardener
    March 12, 2016

    Wow, these look delicious.


  9. Gather and Graze
    March 11, 2016

    Glossy, fragrant and topped with a nice little slab of butter – these look totally amazing Sandra. You’re so very clever my friend! 🙂


    • ladyredspecs
      March 11, 2016

      Aw thanks Margot. Hot Cross Buns were a very satisfying achievement


  10. ardysez
    March 11, 2016

    You go girl! I’m sitting here in the Dallas airport salivating heavily while reading this post! Will have to wait about five weeks to try out my starter. No Easter buns for me this year but maybe next year!


  11. Gretchen
    March 10, 2016

    I’m so glad they turned out for you. I never grew up with hit cross buns but I’ll be sure to make some this year. Chelsea buns are great too, we enjoy them.


    • ladyredspecs
      March 11, 2016

      I think Hot X buns are an English thing, but they are a powerful symbol of Easter in Australia too


  12. Leah
    March 10, 2016

    Hope there is some left over for the Gees to sample 🙂 xx


  13. malgay651
    March 10, 2016

    Taste… Imagine the best hand crafted buns you have tasted and these, well they taste even more natural, with distinctive flavours and who can resist adding real butter on top. The flavours linger in your mouth for ages. Enjoy.


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This entry was posted on March 10, 2016 by in Baking, bread, Breakfast and Brunch, FODMAP diet, Food and tagged , , , , , , .
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