Hot Cross Buns

glazed straight from the oven

March 24th 2012

I walked into the St. John yesterday, just as the first batch of Hot Cross Buns came out of the oven. Terry the pastry chef glazed them while they were hot and the staff all queued up for a taste test – I got one too!

hot cross bun

These are without a doubt, the best Hot Cross Buns I have ever had. They take several days to make and you can taste individual flavours of cinnamon and ginger. The sultanas are soft and I particularly liked the little pieces of candied fruit. The dough is made of wholemeal flour and the bun itself is quite substantial. The Hot Cross Buns are great just as they are or toasted with butter.

These are not cheap, but once you’ve eaten one you’ll never want a supermarket bun again! It’s two weeks until Easter and the St. John will be baking Hot Cross Buns right up until Good Friday.

The St. John is at 26 St. John Street, EC1M 4AY – Google Map

Here are some home made recipes from Alice Cooke, Dan Lepard, Delia Smith, Michael Gilligan and Nigella Lawson they probably won’t match the St. John, but they’ll be a lot more wholesome than the chemical offerings from supermarkets.

I also found a description, here, by Justin Piers Gellatly, head baker at the St. John, which shows just how much goes into making a really good Hot Cross Bun:

We make our dough in two parts. First we create a liquidy dough which we ferment to improve the flavour, and we finish it off about seven hours later with more flour, butter, and eggs. Then we mix that until it’s firm, adding raisins macerated in rum, orange juice, candied stem ginger and syrup from the stem ginger.

About Mad Dog
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33 Responses to Hot Cross Buns

  1. zestybeandog says:

    These look warm and tasty! The first song I learned on the violin when I was 5 was “Hot Cross Buns” haha, I’ve never even had one to this day 🙂

  2. I love them and made some a couple of years ago here…the went down well. Will have to make some more before Easter I think! Very jealous of your tasting… 😉

  3. rutheh says:

    Oh I definitely need to press a “love” button for those stunning hot cross buns!

  4. One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns. yum. x

  5. ChgoJohn says:

    It’s been ages since I’ve had freshly baked hot cross buns and that photo you supplied is tantalizing. I’ve a feeling I’ll soon be on a quest to find some. With 2 weeks to go before Easter, I’d better get moving!

  6. Fantastic glossy Hot Cross Buns – but what else do you expect from the St John:)

  7. Oooh you lucky thing! I’ve never had one…one of the downsides of being an American born Caribbean person? And if they take that long to make, what are the chances? So I will taste vicariously through you!

  8. These look great MD. 🙂
    When you said that they aren’t cheap, what do you mean, how much do they cost?

  9. I’d forgotten about hot cross buns….but these do look wonderful!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks – I think it’s good to forget about them and just have them close to Good Friday. The supermarkets here have been selling Hot Cross Buns and Easter Eggs since just after Christmas…

  10. Audrey Evermore says:

    Jesus has nice buns !

  11. Karen says:

    I haven’t had a wonderful Hot Cross bun in years and miss them. I wished we had a bakery nearby that made them.

  12. I loved the song when I was little, I wish my mother had had this recipe!

  13. Alli says:

    They keep popping up everywhere and I refuse to buy them cos I like homemade but I think I would love and buy these ones.

  14. ceciliag says:

    The Hot Cross Buns here are rubbish, i almost cried with disappointment the first year i was here and never bought one again. They are such favourites in NZ. and you know i never thought of making my own so thank you for the recipes. .. I will go and have a look, raisins in rum sounds pretty good though! Pity you can’t send me a taste! Too far! c

    • Mad Dog says:

      I’m sure you’ll find a good recipe in the ones above – I wish I could send you one from the St. John. According to legend, Hot Cross Buns made on Good Friday had magical powers – people kept them all year for good luck 😉

  15. They sound dee-lish. I have to confess I’ve never tried making them, which is pretty silly since there’s no chance of being able to buy them out here. I will wait for Chica Andaluza’s recipe post next week. I have the song on the brain too, it’s on one of my kids’ nursery rhymes CD.

  16. Pingback: Hot Cross Buns for Good Friday « Chica Andaluza

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