Sourdough hot cross buns

hot cross bun picture

Disclaimer: This is an enchanting recipe for delicious, spiced hot cross buns. BUT like all good things (and all sourdough) it takes time.

Makes 12 hot cross buns.

Proving time up to 23 hours.

Labour time 1-2 hours

Baking time 30 minutes.


  • 150g active and bubbly sourdough starter
  • 200ml milk (I tested with soy and oat and both worked well) 
  • 100g margarine (I used Vitalite)
  • 80g brown sugar 
  • 500g white bread flour 
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange 
  • 1tsp of mixed spices 
  • 1tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp dry ginger
  • 100g mixed dried fruit 
  • Crosses- 100g plain white flour made into a paste with 100ml water/ 200g of white sourdough discard
  • Glaze: 1 tbsp apricot jam mixed with 1 tbsp of water to loosen and warmed in the microwave. 



  1. In a microwave (or a pan) heat the milk and the butter until the butter has just melted, don’t heat it too high. Stir the brown sugar into the mixture 
  2. Leave to cool to a lukewarm temperature, pour into a large sterilised bowl and whisk in the sourdough starter 
  3. tir in the flour to form a dough 
  4. Knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes 
  5. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise at room temperature for 2-5 hours (less time is needed if the environment is warm) it’s important to do the initial rise without salt or spices as both can reduce the action of the natural yeast in the starter. 
  6. While this is proving, prep the fruit; add the dried fruit to a bowl, combine with the orange zest at 2 tbsp of orange juice, cinnamon, mixed spice, ginger, and 1 tsp of sea salt. Leave these to soak and infuse.
  7. After the initial rise make dimples in the dough with wet fingers and pour in the spiced dried fruit mixture. Stretch and fold the dough four times until the fruit is combined. 
  8. Add to a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave for the bulk rise 12-16 hours in the fridge 
  9. Remove the dough from the fridge and gently separate into 12 even sized pieces 
  10. Shape into balls and place seam side down on a greased and lined tray. Be gentle as you want to do your best to maintain the air pockets that have formed. 
  11. Cover with greased cling film and leave to rise for a final time for 1-2 hours (depending on temperature) 
  12. Preheat the oven to 200C fan 
  13. Pipe the crosses over the top with the flour paste or discard 
  14. Bake for 25- 30 mins
  15. Glaze and enjoy 
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