Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Hot Cross Buns - Easter Recipe - Tangzhong Method

Though I have not eaten Hot Cross Buns when I was little, I sure knew the song! 1 a penny, 2 a penny - Hot Cross Buns!

Well, though I said I have not eaten it, the buns you get in Indian Bakeries (atleast in Kerala) tasted quite similar to these buns. Soft Sweet buns with some dry fruits (mainly tutti fruiti) with subtle hints of spices like cinnamon and cardamom. 

When I learned the use of Tangzhong (roux) while baking Muffin Rolls with my baking group, I decided to use that method to make these as well. It gave the buns a super soft texture. 

Hot Cross Buns make their way to the Supermarket in abundance during early Spring in time for Easter. Sometimes I wonder if it is even worth making this when I can buy a pack of 6 buns for just a pound. Well, that is a battle I will always have to fight. Avant Garde Cookies are making Easter Specials this week. This is my pick for the week. Hope you enjoy it.


For The Tangzhong (Roux) - use half of this

All Purpose Flour 1/3 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Water 1/2 cup

For The Dough
All Purpose Flour 2.5 cup
Sugar 5 tbsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Milk Powder 2 tbsp
Fast Acting Instant Yeast 2 tsp
Milk 1/2 + 1/8 cup (original recipe called for 1/2 cup milk + 1/8 cup cream)
Tangzhong 1/3 cup tangzhong (use half of the tangzhong from above)
Unsalted butter (room temperature) 25gm

Other ingredients for Hot Cross bun
Cinnamon 1 tsp
Cardamom powder 1/4 tsp
Mixed dried currants 1/2 cup

For the cross on the top
All Purpose Flour 4 tbsp
Water 4 tbsp

For Glaze
Warmed Golden Syrup 1-2 tbsp

Method of Preparation

For Tangzhong

1. Whisk together lightly the flour, water and milk in a saucepan until smooth and there are no lumps. 

2. Place the saucepan on the stove, and over medium heat, let the roux cook till it starts thickening. Keep stirring/ whisking constantly so no lumps form and the roux is smooth.

3. If you have a thermometer, cook the roux/ tangzhong till it reaches 65C (150F) and take it off the heat. Otherwise, watch the roux/ tangzhong until you start seeing “lines” forming in the roux as you whisk/ stir it. Take the pan off the heat at this point.

4. Let the roux/ tangzhong cool completely and rest for about 2 to 3 hours at least. It will have the consistency of a soft and creamy crème patisserie. If not using immediately, transfer the roux to a bowl and cover using plastic wrap. It can be stored in the fridge for about a day. Discard the tangzhong after that. 

The Bread Dough:

1. Add the flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk, cinnamon, cardamom and instant yeast in a bowl. Give it a quick mix. 

2. In another small bowl mix the milk, cream and Tangzhong (1/3 cup, half of what was made above) till smooth and add to the bowl. 

3. Mix till the dough comes together. 

4. Now add the butter and knead till you have a smooth and elastic dough which is just short of sticky. The dough will start out sticky but kneading will make it smooth. If the dough feels firm and not soft to touch, add a couple of tbsps of milk till it becomes soft and elastic. 

5. When the dough is done, you should be able to stretch the dough without it breaking right away.  When it does break, the break should be form a circle.

6.  Form the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so it is well coated. 

7. Cover with a towel, and let the dough rise for hour or 2 (till almost double in volume).

8. Place the dough on your working surface. Spread it with you hands. Sprinkle the dry fruit mix on top and roll it. Knead till it is distributed well. 

9. Divide into 8 equal portions. Roll into a nice ball. Flatten with your palm. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

10. Let it rise for another 30min to an hour. 

11. Prepare a mix of the flour and water. Add it to a piping bag or ziplock (just make a very very small cut in one corner). 

12. Brush the top of the roll with some milk (or eggwash).

13. Pipe a cross on top. 

14. Preheat an oven to 170C. Bake for 25-35 min. Mine took about 33 min. 

15. Once it is out of the oven, place it on a cooling rack and immediately brush with some warmed golden syrup.

Let it cool and enjoy with some butter.

Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 
AnushaJayanthiKavithaPriya MRadhikaPriya S

Original recipe from Aparna's blog cooked as part of the We Knead to Bake


  1. love the easter buns thru tangzhong; nice pics too rosh - the 2nd pic especially is inviting :)

  2. WOwwwww.... Looks simply inviting.. Great job dear.. Yum Yum Yum.. :D

  3. Super soft buns, prefect for easter celebration.

  4. Wow ! Super spongy buns with perfect clicks...

  5. Look very yumm.. beautiful pics..

  6. Wow!! Delicious looking hot Cross buns and thanks for reminding me of the poem :)