Hot Cross Buns That Stay Fresher For Longer
Easter just wouldn’t be the same without plump, fresh buttered hot cross buns. Soft and pillowy, bursting with sweet spicy flavour, here’s how to make the easiest no-knead hot cross buns that will stay fresh for days.
According to a tongue-in-cheek 2021 survey, perfect hot cross buns should be toasted for exactly 62 seconds. They should be liberally buttered – and enjoyed at exactly 11am with a cup of tea.
At the Culinary Cartel, though, we’re all about innovation and freedom of expression. So, we won’t be quite as prescriptive. Enjoy your hot cross buns just the way you like them.
The Universal Appeal of Warm, Freshly Buttered Hot Cross Buns
Usually, hot cross buns are found in stores only around Easter – for obvious reasons. But if you’re a year-round lover of baked goods, here’s a simple recipe that delivers the softest, tastiest hot cross buns you’re ever likely to make. Because we’re using tangzhong (see below) to enhance the fluffiness and prolong the freshness of these hot cross buns, you’ll be able to enjoy them for up to 2-3 days after making them.
And, if you’re planning on making these specifically as an Easter treat, you may want to add to the occasion by also baking something savoury, like this crispy Turkish Börek.
No-knead, no fuss hot cross buns
Even if you’re in the habit of making your own hot cross buns, you’ll know that there’s usually some work involved. This recipe, on the other hand, saves you time and effort – there’s no prolonged kneading or working of the dough required. Plus, the proportions are perfect for an air fryer! You also benefit from a low active cook time, which means you can prepare and whip these up quickly and easily for any occasion – even if it’s just an impromptu Sunday tea.
You can check out the recipe video here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is tangzhong?
Tangzhong is a Japanese-originated method of adding to the volume and lightness of breads, buns, etc. For this recipe, it involves pre-heating a portion of your flour, water, and milk mixture (the roux) and making a paste. This paste (with added butter and egg) is then stirred back into your dough mix. The tangzhong pre-gelatinises the starches in the flour so they hold more water.
This results in a no-knead dough that rises beautifully to triple its size in 2 hours or less. And, when baked, the water-laden gluten strands formed through the tangzhong process create more steamy air pockets.
The result? Light, airy buns that don’t get stodgy, that are a delight to eat, and stay fresh and tasty for far longer.
Can I increase the size of the hot cross buns?
Yes, you can. Simply double up on the ingredients to produce larger buns, or increase the quantity, and of course you can then use your regular oven instead of an air fryer.
What’s the best way to knead sticky dough?
Because you’re using the tangzhong mix in your dough, it will be characteristically sticky and full. However, remember that there’s no prolonged kneading required, except for a quick punch down and fold once the dough has risen fully. For this, you can just lightly dust your hands with a little flour, or apply a little cooking oil to prevent having to scrape sticky dough from your fingers.