What is Operation Jam Jar?

Operation Jam Jar is all about getting back to basics in the kitchen.

Check out my efforts at cooking from scratch - cakes, soups, biscuits

Learn how to make things that you would normally buy at the supermarket - wraps, ice cream, pizza bases

Try to live a more 'country' lifestyle in the city - making your own jams or relish

Get the skills to enjoy cooking in a thrifty way, and have a bit of fun while you do it

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

Easter is around the corner, so what better time than now to get some buns in the oven.

It’s easy to think that hot cross buns are a bit of a baker’s secret and that we mortals shouldn’t bother trying.  But no, no no no. You can do this and you can do it BETTER.  Oh and CHEAPER.  

Baker’s Delight sell a dozen of these for $13.  This will cost you about $3, based on some really rough, I’m-too-tired-from-an-awesome-wedding-in-the-country-this-weekend-to-do-maths type of maths.

Sorry about the dodgy photo – I was far too excited when I made these and couldn’t wait to shove one in my face.

1 x 7g sachet yeast
½ cup caster sugar
1 ½ cups milk
4 ½ cups plain flour
1 ½ cups sultanas
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
50g butter, melted
1 egg
For the crosses:
4 tbsp plain flour
4 tbsp water
For the glaze: (optional)
3 tsp sugar
3 tsp water

Directions (makes 12 large buns)

Warm the milk in the microwave and then add the yeast and 2 teaspoons of the caster sugar.  Mix and allow to sit for 10 minutes until it looks fluffy.  Sift the flour and the rest of the sugar into a large bowl, then add the cinnamon and mixed spice.  Mix in the butter, egg, and sultanas until all combined.  

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes.  You may get bored after about minute 4 but do not give up!  The kneading is what gives you the light fluffy texture that you know and love.

Oil your mixing bowl with vegetable oil and place the dough inside.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour until doubled in size.  Divide the dough into 12 balls. Place in a baking dish lined with baking paper.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm for half an hour until they have risen again.

Heat the oven to 200°C.  You need to make your crosses now.  In a small bowl, mix the flour and water together to form a runny paste.  Place inside a small plastic bag and snip the end off to make a piping bag.  Using long lines, make your crosses by piping all the way from one side of the baking dish to the other.  Repeat until you have all of the buns crossed.

Bake for 35 mins or until golden on the top.  If you would like them glazed, place your sugar and water in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Dip a pastry brush into the mix and glaze the tops of the buns while they are still warm.  This will make the tops sticky and delicious.  Serve while still warm, with butter.  

The buns will stay fresh for 24 hrs, so if you have any left the next day it’s best to toast them first.

With such a simple recipe up your sleeve, who says you can’t enjoy these all year round?


  1. These are so good! I have to admit I left out the fruit and replaced it with some chocy chips!

    My kids will take these for recess,so much cheaper and lovelier than the bakers delight ones. I don't suppose you have a good recipe for cheesy mite scrolls? every time I make them they come out to dry.
    thanks for all the great recipes!!!!!!!!

  2. Thanks for the nice feedback lulubelle! I was just saying today that I will be making these again for easter as they are so lovely and fluffy.

    I don't have a recipe for cheesy mite scrolls but I do have one for marmalade scrolls and I'm sure you could just leave off the jam and add a smearing of vegemite and a sprinkling of grated cheese once you roll out the dough. Hmm might have to try that myself!