Sourdough hot cross buns, with candied mixed peel, are a soft and lightly sweetened roll, perfect to enjoy with a cup of hot tea!
We took a spring classic and made it our own! Sourdough hot cross buns, with homemade candied mixed peel, are as amazing as they sound.
If you don’t know how much we love sourdough baking, well, we are smitten! It started with a basic post on How To Make A Sourdough Starter, followed by recipes for Everyday No-Knead Sourdough Bread, Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread, and New York-Style Sourdough Bagels. We fell down the sourdough rabbit hole and hope you’ll join us! Baking bread from scratch can be so rewarding.
What Are Sourdough Hot Cross Buns?
Hot cross buns are spiced sweet buns baked with yeast and dried or candied fruit. Hot cross buns are typically topped with icing crosses and eaten on Good Friday. To mix things up we made sourdough hot cross buns! Our buns are naturally leavened with sourdough starter, and have a signature sourdough tang you can’t get with regular bread yeast.
Ingredients You Need To Make This Recipe:
- Whole or plant-based milk
- Active sourdough starter
- Bread flour
- All-purpose flour
- Sea salt
- Softened butter
- Candied peel
- Raisins or currants
- Ground cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg
- Neutral oil
Baker’s Schedule For Sourdough Hot Cross Buns:
Day One – Evening
Make The Dough – 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes stretch and folds
Combine the ingredients according to the recipe below to make a shaggy dough. Do stretch and folds every 10 minutes for 30 minutes.
Bulk Fermentation – 12 hours overnight
Bulk fermentation happens after the stretch and folds are complete. Place a damp tea towel and large plate over the bowl of dough and stick it in the refrigerator overnight. After 12 hours, the dough should double in size. If it doesn’t, take it out and let it rise at room temperature for a bit.
Day Two – Morning
Shape The Buns – 25 minutes
Once the dough is doubled, separate it into 16 equal pieces. Repeat the stretching and folding method from the night before on each individual piece and shape them into balls. Shape all of the buns and place them into a greased baking dish as you go.
Second Proof – 2 to 3 hours
Cover the buns with a tea towel and let them rise for 2 to 3 hours, or until doubled in size.
Bake – 25 to 30 minutes
Preheat the oven and bake the sourdough hot cross buns for 25-30 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with a generous amount of melted butter. This both softens the buns, and adds flavour. Cool 10 minutes and enjoy!
What Is Candied Mixed Peel?
Candied mixed peel is the peel from citrus fruits that have been candied. Some recipes preserve the peel via a drying process, or other time-intensive steps. Our candied mixed peel recipe is easy! First, juice the citrus of your choice. Second, combine the juice with the fruit peel and cook in a simple syrup of water and sugar.
What Is The Cross On Hot Cross Buns?
The crosses on hot cross buns are a decorative paste made from flour, water, and oil that is piped onto the buns before baking.
More Bun/Roll-Type Recipes You Might Enjoy:
If you make this recipe, let us know by tagging @baked_theblog + #bakedtheblog on Instagram! We love to feel like we’re in the kitchen with you.
For the Buns
- ¾ cup (180 ml) whole milk (or sub plant milk), at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) active sourdough starter
- 3 large eggs, divided, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup (75 g) softened butter, plus more for brushing and preparing the pan (or sub vegan butter)
- 2 ½ cups (375 g) bread flour
- 1 cup (150 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (8 g) sea salt
- ⅔ cup (`~150 g) small dice candied peel (` ½ - ¾ cm dice)
- ½ cup (75 g) raisins (or sub currants)
- 1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
For the Cross Paste
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon tablespoon (50 g) flour
- 1 tablespoon (10 g) oil
- ¼ cup (40 g) water or orange juice (see notes)
- Add the milk to a large bowl. Add the starter and whisk to combine, then whisk in 2 eggs until well mixed. Place butter into the bowl and use a wooden spoon to combine the mixture together. The butter will break and dissolve into small pieces, but that's ok.
- Add the bread flour, all purpose flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix, making sure to incorporate all of the flour, until a shaggy dough has formed.
- Next, sprinkle in the candied peel, raisins (or currants), and remaining spices, and use your hands to squish everything in as uniformly as possible.
- Cover the dough with a tea towel, and every 10 minutes for the next half hour, perform a set of stretch and folds. Use your hand to take one edge of the dough, stretch it up toward yourself, then fold it toward the centre of the bowl. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat 3 more times until all of the dough has been stretched. Repeat this process two more times with a 10 minute break between each.
- Place a lightly damp tea towel and a large plate over your bowl, then place the bowl into the refrigerator for the bulk fermentation. This should take about 12 hours, and your dough should double in size. If, at the end of this time, the dough hasn't doubled, simply take it out to rise at room temperature until it has.
- Alternatively, if your starter is very strong, you can likely do a shorter initial rise (about 4 hours) at room temperature instead.
- Lightly flour a clean surface and turn the proofed dough out onto it. Separate the dough into approximately 12 equal pieces. Grease a large ( approximately 9 x 13") baking dish with butter, line it on the bottom with a piece of parchment and set aside.
- Take each piece of dough and repeat the stretch and fold motion from earlier. Lightly coat one side of the dough ball in flour, then gently stretch one edge and fold it into the middle of the piece. Rotate, repeating the motion, until a ball has formed.
- Place the ball onto the lightly floured surface and use the outer edge of both little fingers to rotate the ball counterclockwise. This will help the roll to form a skin on the outer layer so that it keeps a nice shape when rising and baking.
- Repeat this until all of the rolls are shaped, placing each roll into the baking dish as you go.
- Cover the rolls with a tea towel and set them aside to rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours, or until almost doubled in size. If you want to extend the fermentation time even longer, you could refrigerate the shaped rolls overnight again.
- Preheat oven to 350F / 180C and prepare cross paste: In a small bowl, combine flour, oil, and water or orange juice and mix to combine. Set aside. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining egg together with a tiny splash of water or milk and set aside.
- Brush each of the rolls with egg wash, then pipe a cross on each roll.
- Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Buns can be eaten warm or once at room temperature. They will soften more as they sit.
DAY ONE: MAKING THE DOUGH
DAY ONE: BULK FERMENTATION
DAY TWO: SHAPING THE ROLLS
DAY TWO: SECOND PROOF
DAY TWO: BAKING
• If you use cold milk, eggs, and butter, the dough will rise painfully slowly. Please let them come to room temperature before starting on the buns.
• For a non-traditional take on the cross, try subbing orange juice for water in the cross paste or pipe with a thick glaze after they're cooled. We like this recipe for orange glaze, just be sure to add ½ the amount of orange juice.
• Buns will keep in an airtight container (or in beeswax wrap) at room temperature for a few days but are better toasted after the second day. If you have leftovers, they'd also be great transformed into a bread pudding. Or try this egg-free bread pudding.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 78mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 7g
This is an approximation of the nutrition offered in this recipe, and is created using a nutrition calculator.