Baking Cooking Recipes

Seriously Dough: Easy sourdough hot cross buns

23rd March 2021

If you love hot cross buns, you’ll love this sourdough version of the Easter time classic! 

It’s important that your starter is nice and active for this recipe. We’re making an enriched dough, which results in a beautifully billowy texture for our buns. Without a starter that’s nice and bubbly, you’re going to be severely disappointed with the outcome (speaking from experience). We’d recommend feeding it the day before and as always, leave it out for a couple of hours before you begin baking.

What’s great about this recipe is that you can experiment with different flavours. Dried fruit, nutmeg, or citrus peels can all work well. 


  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 100g sourdough starter
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 50g butter, cubed
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g sultana’s
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • Peel of ½ a grapefruit
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

For the crosses

  • 50g plain flour
  • Water for mixing

For the glaze

  • 25g sugar
  • 25ml water
  • Juice of 1 orange


  1. Add your milk to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and add your butter, stirring until combined. Leave to cool slightly.
  2. Add your flour, salt, sugar and spices to a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add in your milk and butter mixture, sourdough starter, and your beaten egg. Mix with a wooden spoon until it’s combined. It will be quite sticky at this point.
  3. Tip your dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed. Keep kneading for about five minutes or so, until the dough has become smoother. Clean out your mixing bowl and rub with a splash of oil, then add your dough, coating it in the oil – this is to stop it forming a crust. Cover with cling film and leave to proof in a warm place for an hour.
  4. At this point your dough should be rising nicely. Add in your sultanas and your peel and mix into the dough, kneading a bit more if necessary to make sure the new ingredients are well incorporated. Cover and proof for another hour.
  5. Divide into 12 pieces and arrange on two baking trays lined with parchment paper. You want to make sure there’s a little space between each ball as they will expand during the final proof. Cover for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat your oven to 180º (200º if not fan assisted). To make the crosses, mix 50g of plain flour with ⅘ tablespoons of cold water, until you’re left with a thick paste. Tip mixture into a piping bag and pipe along each row of the buns. If, like me, you don’t own a piping bag, you can use a teaspoon to gently shape the crosses. A bit rustic, but it still works! Put your buns in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Whilst your buns are baking, it’s time to make the glaze. I’ve gone for a simple sugar syrup with a squeeze of our zested orange so not to waste anything, but marmalade or apricot jam would work too. Pour equal parts sugar and water into a saucepan and add in the juice of your orange. Heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  8. Once your buns are ready, take them out of the oven and brush with the sugar syrup. Leave to cool slightly, and enjoy!

Want more ways to utilise your sourdough starter? Check out our best sourdough bread recipe!

You Might Also Like