cool cat hot cross bun

Originally Pavlova wanted to make hot cross buns today.  The buns are a tradition in England as well as in Australia and New Zealand. Having settled in a new country Pavlova is overzealous in her attempts to perfectly fit in and has been talking for weeks about making the buns though she has never made them before. She has also been complaining that you have been able to buy them in the shops almost from Christmas. It came to a head today when Harvey gleefully told her the buns are actually eaten on Good Friday rather than Easter Sunday.  Pavlova doesn’t get facts wrong often. When she does, she is most upset and mopes for weeks. So it didn’t come as a surprise that she left in a huff after Harvey had enlightened her, leaving the other Dedes annoyed that they didn’t get their promised treat. Of course they could have bought them from the shop, but not today. Today is one of only three days in the year when all the shops are closed.

Fortunately Cool Cat stepped forward and said she could make the spicy buns. Like Harvey’s yeast plait, they don’t fit the ingredients list exactly, but because it is such a tradition Mouse turned a blind eye. Apart from raisins you also need cinnamon.

Ingredients for 18 buns:

7 cups of flour (2 cups of whole meal and 5 cups of white flour), 1.5 cups warm milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons yeast, 100 grams butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/4 cup of raisins (or other dried fruit eg cranberries)

Cross: 1/2 cup of flour and 6 tablespoons of water

Glazing: 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon water


In a big bowl mix the two types of flour together with a fork. Make a well in the middle. In a pot heat up the milk a little then pour into the well and add the teaspoons of sugar and yeast. Let sit for a 10 mins until the yeast is foamy. Melt the butter in a pot then add sugar and cinnamon.  Then add this mixture to the yeast and flour. Mix to a dough. Transfer to a flat surface and knead well for 5 minutes. Put the dough back into the bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for an hour or so.

When it has doubled in size, add the raisins/dried fruit to the dough and knead again until the fruit is well distributed through the dough. Form 18 balls and place them on a baking tray dusted with flour, leaving a little gap between the balls.  Preheat oven to 2000C. Let the buns rise again while the oven is heating up.

For the cross, mix the flour and water and carefully draw a cross with the side of a teaspoon on each of the balls.

Bake in the oven for 20 mins.

Just before they are done, mix the sugar and water for the glazing. Brush on as soon as the buns come out of the oven while they are still piping hot.