Healthy Hot Cross Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Healthy Hot Cross Buns made with organic ingredients and honey instead of sugar.
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 12 -16
  • Use organic ingredients wherever possible.
  • 400g strong wholemeal bread flour
  • 100g strong white bread flour ( you can use all wholemeal, but they'll be heavier and won't rise so well)
  • 120 ml luke warm water
  • 120ml luke warm milk
  • 2 medium free range eggs , beaten.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 60ml honey
  • 50g butter
  • 220g mixed dried fruit
  • The grated zest and juice of an orange
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 10g sachet of dried yeast
  • For the crosses;
  • 65g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Sieved apricot jam or marmalade for the glaze.
  • Preheat the oven to 200c / gas mark 6
  1. If you have a bread maker combine the above ingredients and select the same programme as a wholemeal fruit loaf. This will mix, knead and prove the dough until it is ready to shape into buns and bake in the oven.
  2. If you don't have a bread machine it's not hard at all, you just need strong arms and a little patience!
  3. In a mixing jug, dissolve the honey with a little of the warm water, and then stir in the rest of the milk and water.
  4. Sprinkle the dried yeast on top and leave to stand in a warm place to activate the yeast ( it will start to turn frothy)
  5. In a large bowl, measure out the flour, salt and spices.
  6. Cut the butter into tiny little pieces and toss into the flour, rub the little bits of butter in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  7. Mix in the dried fruit and orange zest.
  8. Make a well in the middle and gradually add the frothy yeast mixture and the beaten egg. Stir it together with a wooden spoon until all the liquid is absorbed and a soft dough is formed.
  9. Add a little orange juice but not if the mixture is getting too wet. Add a little more flour if it gets too sticky.
  10. Turn it out onto a well floured surface and knead for ten minutes (it's great exercise!)
  11. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover it with cling film.
  12. Leave it in a warm place (sunny window sill away from draughts works well) for 1½ hours until the dough has doubled in size.
  13. Once it is risen, turn it out onto a lightly oiled surface, and knock it back. Lightly knead it to release the air (this makes it rise better the second time)
  14. Divide the dough into equal sized balls of dough. I do this but cutting it in half and then each piece in half again and again until there are16 small dough balls. Make 12 if you prefer bigger buns!
  15. Shape the buns and place them on a lined baking tray evenly spaced in rows about 3cm apart to give them space to grow.
  16. Cover them with lightly oiled cling film, and allow to rise again for 45 minutes.
  17. Meanwhile make the paste for the crosses by blending the flour and milk and place the paste in a piping bag.
  18. When the buns are risen, using the back of a knife carefully mark each one with a cross to guide where you will pipe the crosses.
  19. Pipe the crosses on top of the buns and bake them in the oven for 12-15 minutes, remove when they have turned golden brown.
  20. Mix a tbsp of sieved jam or marmalade with a tbsp of boiling water for the glaze and lightly brush over the top of each bun.
Recipe by Whole Food Home at