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Sourdough Hot Cross Buns

Catholic Easter is right around the corner, and there is still time to make the most delicious sourdough hot cross buns for Easter brunch. Here is the recipe.


Sweet Stiff Sourdough Starter 

  • 8 g sourdough starter
  • 30 g water
  • 60 g bread flour
  • 5g sugar


  • 140g lukewarm milk(46%)
  • 1 egg+1 yolk
  • 90g sweet stiff starter(30%)
  • 30g brown sugar (10%)
  • 30g white sugar (10%)
  • 300g bread flour (100%)
  • 45g soft butter or oil without flavor (15%)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp all spices
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg
  • 6g salt (2%)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 0.5 g dry yeast (optional, to reduce sourness)
  • 1/2 cup raisins


  • half cup of white flour
  • 6-7 tbs water


  • 1 tbs apricot jam
  • 2 tbs water


Day 1


  • 10 pm dissolve sugar in the water, add starter and whisk together, add flour, mix well, form a ball, place in jar, cover let sit at room temp 74-78F until it increases in volume in 2 or more times.
  • Stiff sweet starter will have lower hydration than regular liquid starter and will help us to lower the acidity of final product (learn how to make sourdough starter from scratch here).

Day 2


  • 8 am in a bowl of stand mixer mix lukewarm milk, an egg+ egg yolk, sugar, stiff sourdough starter, yeast (optional ) add flour, all spices and orange zest and let autolyse for 1 hour.
  • During the autolyse period the flour becomes fully hydrated. This activates gluten development.
  • 9 am mix dough on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 minutes, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 3-4 minutes until well incorporated.
  • Add salt mix for a couple more minutes. The dough should form a ball.
  • Add soft butter or oil, increase the speed of mixer, mix for 10 more minutes until the dough is well incorporated and comes up together. You will be able to perform windowpane test. at the end of mixing add raisins.

  • Cover and let it proof for 3-4 hours at 76-80F/ 24-28C.
  • During that time perform 2 stretches and folds.
  • The dough should become slightly puffy.
  • 1 pm transfer the dough to the fridge for cold fermentation for 6-9 hours.
  • 10 pm Remove the dough from the fridge.
  • Divide on 12 equal pieces (about 55g each)
  • Pinch all edges to the bottom of a roll, try to round it tightly.
  • Transfer the shaped rolls into the square baking pan.
  • Cover rolls and let them proof overnight on the counter for 8 -10 hours 70-74F /20-23C until they double in volume.

Day 3

  • 7 am Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Prepare paste for crosses by mixing flour and water, use ziplock bag, put all paste inside the bag, close tightly, cut one corner of the bag.
  • Pipe crosses on top of buns.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile prepare the glaze by mixing apricot jam with water.
  • When buns are ready, spread glaze on top of hot buns.
  • Let them cool down.


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Sourdough Hot Cross Buns
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17 thoughts on “Sourdough Hot Cross Buns

  1. Where do you find the starters? I see two listed

    1. There’s the link how yo make a starter from scratch.

  2. Hi Natasha! Have you ever skippped the cold proof for a same day bake? If so, what are the major differences? Thanks and Happy Easter 🐣🐰🙏

    1. Pam hi!
      There’s not much of a difference.

    2. Happy Easter to you as well 🐣

  3. Wow, nine whole buns with only three days of work!

  4. Actually, that is what I love about using a sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast. I can control when I need to “work” with it and fit it into my schedule while it is rising. So three days, working with it for a short period of time is not a big deal. Occasionally I haven’t gotten back to it, while it is sitting in the frig, for 5 days and it still turns out fine. You can’t do that with commercial yeast, you have to constantly keep an eye on it!

  5. Hi! Do we make 9 or 12 from this? It says to divide into 12 rolls but I see 9 in the pics!

    1. Hi!
      12 is correct

  6. Hi Natsha
    What size baking tin do you use ?

  7. For the last proof in room temperature do you think I can do it in the fridge for two days instead?

    1. It’s possible that conducting the last proof in the fridge for two days could work, but it may not yield the same results as proofing at room temperature. The cold temperature of the fridge will slow down the fermentation process, which can affect the flavor and texture of the final product. I recommend experimenting with a shorter proofing time in the fridge first to see how it affects the dough before committing to a two-day proof.

  8. Ciao, posso farli con il ldb? Se si quanti grammi posso mettere? Grazie

  9. Thanks for this recipe, this buns are absolutely delicious and amazing.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. Feel free to explore more delicious recipes on our website. Let us know if you have any questions or need assistance with anything else. Happy cooking!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I’m very grateful to come across your work.

    1. You’re very welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. If you have any questions or need more cooking inspiration, feel free to reach out. Happy cooking!

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