Sourdough Hot Cross Buns: An Easter Tradition with a Twist

sourdough hot cross buns

Hot cross buns are a beloved Easter tradition that many people look forward to each year. The sweet, spiced buns are often enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee, and the cross on top symbolizes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But if you're a fan of sourdough, you might be interested in trying sourdough hot cross buns, which add a tangy twist to the classic recipe.

Sourdough is a type of bread made using a natural fermentation process, giving it its characteristic tangy flavour. Sourdough bread has become increasingly popular recently, as people have rediscovered the benefits of traditional breadmaking methods.

To make sourdough hot cross buns, you start with a sourdough starter, a mixture of flour and water left to ferment for several days. This starter is then used to leaven the dough for the buns, instead of commercial yeast.

The result is a batch of hot cross buns that are a little tangier than the classic version but still have all the same delicious flavours and textures. They're perfect to accompany your morning cup of coffee or tea or share with family and friends during the Easter season.

sourdough hot cross buns

Sourdough Hot Cross Bun Recipe

If you're interested in trying your hand at making sourdough hot cross buns, here's a recipe to get you started.


Dough Paste

  • 50g water
  • 15g flour

Main dough

  • 210g water
  • 60g vegetable oil
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp mixed spice
  • 100g sourdough starter
  • 450g white bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150g raisins
  • 75g plain flour

Cross mixture

  • 15g vegetable oil
  • 75g flour
  • 65g water
  • Egg wash (1 egg whisked with a splash of milk)


  • Apricot jam for glaze


  1. In a small pot, combine 50g water and 15g flour and cook over medium heat until you get a thick paste. Set aside to cool.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooled paste, 210g water, 60g vegetable oil, 50g caster sugar, 2 tbsp mixed spice, and 100g sourdough starter. Mix to combine.

  3. Add 450g of white bread flour and 1 tsp salt to the mixture and stir until combined.

  4. Tip the dough onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Dust with extra bread flour to prevent sticking as required.

  5. Pat the dough out into a circle, sprinkle over 150g of raisins (soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften), and then roll the dough into a log, like a Swiss roll cake. Coil up into a ball.

  6. Place the ball into a lightly oiled bowl and rise overnight at room temperature for around 8-12 hours, or until doubled in volume.

  7. Once the dough has risen, tip it onto a clean surface and cut it into 12 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and place them into a lined high-side baking tray. Cover with a damp towel and leave somewhere warm to prove for 2-3 hours.

  8. Once the buns have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a separate bowl, combine 75g plain flour, 15g vegetable oil, and 65g water to create the cross mixture. Brush the buns with the egg wash and pipe the cross mixture onto the buns.

  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the buns are dark golden brown.

  10. Remove the buns from the oven and lightly brush over warmed apricot jam for the glaze. Leave the buns in the tray for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

  11. Serve the buns warm or at room temperature, split in half them and spread with butter or your favourite jam. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for longer storage.

    Enjoy your delicious homemade sourdough hot cross buns!
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