New This Month

Hot Cross Buns


These delicious hot cross buns by chef John Barricelli are a perfect treat to make during spring.

  • Yield: Makes 2 dozen

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, April Spring 2007


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl, pan, and knife
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/3 cups currants
  • Bun Crossing Paste
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam


  1. Generously butter a large bowl; set aside. Place 1 cup milk in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Heat until milk reaches 110 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour milk into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. With machine on low speed, add granulated sugar, yeast, salt, butter, lemon zest, orange zest, and eggs. Add flour, and mix on low speed until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms around dough hook. Continue kneading, scraping down hook and sides of bowl as necessary, until smooth, about 4 minutes more.

  2. Add currants; knead, with dough hook, to incorporate. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead briefly to evenly distribute currants in dough. Shape into a ball. Place dough in prepared bowl. Turn to coat with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

  3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Turn dough out onto work surface. Knead briefly and roll dough into a log. Cut log in half and cut each half into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a tightly formed ball. Place on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Cover baking sheets with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until buns are touching and doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks positioned in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Place bun crossing paste in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip or a paper cornet with a 1/8-inch opening. Pipe crosses over the surface of each bun. Transfer buns to oven and bake until golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes, rotating baking sheets after 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

  5. Meanwhile, place apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until heated through; strain through a mesh sieve set over a bowl. Brush heated jam over buns.

Reviews Add a comment

  • r0uxlette
    20 MAR, 2013
    @drybala Yes, the cross consisting of a flour icing is a relatively new variation, but nonetheless is correct. The cross can of course be made with confectioners sugar or in the English tradition of topping the bun with a pastry dough cross. Happy baking!
  • MS10227862
    3 APR, 2012
    This worked beautifully for us: Instead of using the parchment cornets, we used a cookie press for the crosses. It was simple and beautiful enough for my young daughter to add the crosses too. These are so delicious that the biggest problem we have is not going back for seconds and thirds. ;)
  • jfhsplitends
    19 MAR, 2009
    This is correct as i use very thin rolled out pastry lines for my crosses, i think you are getting mixed up with the glaze, what a good idea with piping bag, it takes a long time to do crosses, thanks Jfhsplitends Spain
  • drybala
    15 MAR, 2009
    Is the paste correct? I thought it would be confectioner's suger, not flour??!!
  • MS10851493
    18 MAR, 2008
    I am so glad to see this tradition still going on. Thanks Martha for all that you do.