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>> Tuesday 26 March 2013

Cross Buns photo crossbuns4_zpse872d88e.jpg

Those of you who write, cook and do photography for publications (like I do), know that we have to test recipes long before the holidays come around and we get to eat the holiday foods way in advance of the actual occasion because we have publication deadlines to meet. I've already had my cross buns and don't think that I will be making any this week. But that's okay. I've had my fair share; I'll find something else to eat come Good Friday morning.

Before I go on to post this recipe, which I have done before, I wanted to point out a few things.

  • I made two sets of Cross Buns applying different glazes, just because I wanted to.
  • I used ginger in two different ways in the recipes. In one I used ground ginger and in the other I used glazed ginger that I minced up and added to the dough. 
  • If you decide to use the glazed ginger, then leave out the ground ginger. Add 1/4 cup finely minced glazed ginger to the dough the same time you are adding the currants or raisins.

So as not to be confusing, I'll separate the buns by glaze.

The recipe for the dough for both Cross Buns is the same.



Yield: 12 


For Dough:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 1 tablespoon dry instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/3 cups currants (or 1/2 cup raisins)
  • 1 + 1/2 cups warm whole milk (110 - 115 degrees F)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (you can use regular Caribbean brown sugar if you like)

For Glaze # 1:

  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup icing/powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice (milk or water can be substituted)

For Glaze # 2:

  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup icing/powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk


  1. Mix together the following ingredients in a large bowl: flour, yeast, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ground ginger (if using), and salt. Blend well.
  2. Toss in currants or raisins (and if using, minced glazed ginger). Mix to evenly disperse in flour mixture.
  3. Add sugar to warm milk and stir to dissolve.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the milk-sugar mixture and bring together the wet and dry ingredients to form a dough. If the dough is dry or there's loose flour, add a little warm water until the dough comes together. Sprinkle some flour on a work surface, turn dough onto surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, dab oil all over the dough to prevent it forming a skin. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and put it somewhere warm but draft-free and let rise. This should take from 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hours. The dough should more than double in size.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly brush a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with oil and set aside.
  7. Punch down risen dough to deflate it and cut into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece of cut dough into a tight round ball and assemble on lined baking sheet or in oiled dish. Cover, put in some place warm and let rise for 1 hour.
  8. 20 minutes before the hour is up, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For Glaze # 1

  1. Beat together the egg and water and brush the risen buns just before adding the pan/dish to the oven.
  2. Bake for 25 - 27 minutes or until brown and shiny.
  3. Place pan or dish on a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Mix together the icing/powdered sugar and lime or lemon juice or which ever liquid you are using, then transfer to a piping bag or using a spoon drizzle over buns to form a cross.

Cross Bun photo crossbuns9-1_zpsaba35b97.jpg


For Glaze # 2

Glazed Cross Buns photo crossbuns5_zps5a5cfcc7.jpg

  1. Mix together the white sugar and 2 tablespoons water and brush the risen buns just before adding the pan/dish to the oven.
  2. Bake buns for 12 minutes then brush again with sugar water. Bake for another 12 minutes and brush with sugar water again. At the end of the second 12 minutes of baking, brush the buns again and bake for 3 minutes and then remove from the oven. If there is any sugar water remaining, brush over the hot buns.
  3. Place the pan/dish on a wire rack to cool.
  4. While buns are cooling, mix together the icing/powdered sugar and milk. 
  5. When the buns are still warm but not hot, pour the mixture all over the buns and use a pastry brush to distribute it. Let the icing glaze run between the buns, to the sides etc. Let it cool to room temperature and then serve.

Cross Bun & Cheese photo cbun2_zpse9df9116.jpg
I like to eat my Cross Buns with sharp cheddar cheese

You must check out my dear friend Alica's Cross Buns. Her dried fruits of choice are apricots and cherries and she adds lemon and orange zests to her dough - heavenly! And as if that is not enough, she glazes her picture perfect Cross Buns with apricot jam. And talk about a steady hand, go see how perfectly her buns are crossed.

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