A Hot Cross Bun Recipe

31st March 2023

We recently discovered that no one in the TOG team has ever made (or at least tried to make) hot cross buns. We collectively agreed that it was about time we all gave it a go. So we set about looking for the ultimate hot cross bun recipe.

We found it on the website of award-winning food writer Olivia Potts.

Being the wonderful person and TOG friend she is, Olivia kindly granted us permission to share it with you all too. 

“I urge you: please try this recipe. You will produce satin-like dough, which is a joy to handle, delicious buns that are (honestly) better even than the supermarkets’ offerings, and I guarantee you this: you will feel competent, and enriched."

Olivia Potts



340ml milk,

50g butter,

1 egg (beaten),

500g strong white bread flour,

75g caster sugar,

7g fast action yeast,

75g sultanas,

50g mixed peel,

1 orange (zested)

1 apple (peeled, cored and diced),

1 tsp mixed spice


30g plain flour


3tbsp apricot jam



1. Heat milk until it feels warm to the touch but not hot. Add butter and let it melt.

2. Combine the dry ingredients and add butter, milk and egg, and mix.

3. Knead the dough for at least five minutes until you can stretch it out and see light through it without it breaking (it will still be a very soft dough at this point).

4. Leave to prove in a warm place for an hour, or until doubled in size.

5. Knock the air out of the dough and add apple, zest, peel, sultanas and spice, mixing thoroughly into a dough.

6. Leave to prove for another hour.

7. Divide the dough into 12 or 16 even pieces. Roll each in a caged palm to form a tight ball and place them close to one another on a baking tray.

8. Leave to prove for another hour.

9. Preheat the oven to 200c.

10. Mix 30g of plain flour with a little water to make a paste. Pipe this in long lines onto the buns to form crosses.

11. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

12. While still warm, glaze the buns with sieved apricot jam, or a syrup made with equal parts water and sugar (and a little ground spice if you fancy!)

13. You can sub out the dried fruit and peel, zest and apple for anything you fancy. Go wild!

Olivia uses a TOG Gyuto knife.


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