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Hot Cross Buns- Good Friday

Updated: May 13, 2023

Hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns!

One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny,

Hot cross buns!

If you have no daughters,

Give them to your sons

One ha’ penny,

Two ha’ penny,

Hot Cross Buns!

Hot Cross Buns are a delicious spiced bun traditionally made on Good Friday in countries all over the world. Each bun is marked with a cross on the top to symbolize and remind us of the crucifixion of Christ. They are also packed with spices to signify the spices that were used on Jesus during the burial ritual. Another intriguing addition to the recipe is the use of orange zest. The addition of this citrus fruit is meant to remind us of the bitterness that comes with the cross.

These delicious and theologically rich Hot Cross Buns are a Good Friday tradition for us. On this day we typically seek to maintain one hour of silence as we mourn the death of Jesus, and during that hour I make these. They also provide simple sustenance for a day of fasting and abstaining. I usually make soup to go along with them too.

If you'd like to learn about the meaning behind Good Friday and receive more ways to live liturgically, you can read that here. And you know that I couldn't do this without making a full guide to Holy Week for you which you can find here.

Hot cross buns on a cutting board with a beige tea towel. Catholic liturgical living blog His Girl Sunday bakes hot cross buns as a Good Friday tradition.

hot cross buns recipe, catholic good friday, lent

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Bake Time: 22 minutes

Rise Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Yields: 12 buns

Bun Ingredients

  • 2 packages of active dry yeast

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1 1/4 cup warm milk (between 105-110 degrees)

  • 4 1/2 cups flour

  • 2 tsps cinnamon

  • 2 tsps allspice

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1 1/4 cup currants (or raisins)

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup butter

Cross Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup flour

  • 1/4 cup water

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp apricot jam

  • 2 tsps water

Before we can really get this show on the road, we first have to activate the yeast. In a medium size bowl, combine 2 packages of active dry yeast, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 1/4 cup milk warmed to a temperature between 105-110 degrees. Whisk these three ingredients together then cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes.

Ingredients are being poured into a bowl of yeast to make hot cross buns. Liturgy Kitchen bakes for Catholic good friday in lent.

After five minutes is up the yeast mixture should look foamy like this.

A bowl of active yeast sits next to a red mixing bowl and a recipe on paper. His Girl Sunday provides Catholic liturgical living recipes for Lent.

In your stand mixer with the dough hook attached, thoroughly whisk together 4 1/2 cups flour, 2 tsps cinnamon, 2 tsps allspice, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1 tsp nutmeg. You could also sift these ingredients together.

Then take 1/4 cup butter and crumble it into the flour mixture with your hands.

Flour and spices are in the bowl of a stand mixer. His Girl Sunday Catholic blog makes hot cross buns from scratch to continue on the Good Friday tradition.

Into the flour mixture add in 2 eggs, 1 1/4 cup currants (or raisins), and the yeast mixture. Yummy looking isn't it?

Hot cross bun wet ingredients are combined with the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Liturgy Kitchen makes hot cross buns as a traditional custom for Good Friday in lent.

Combine with the dough hook on medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.

Then turn it out onto a lightly floured counter surface and knead for another 3-4 minutes or until the dough is smooth and springy. Poke it with your finger to test it out!

Hot cross bun dough has come together to form a ball. His Girl Sunday's Liturgy Kitchen preps dough for hot cross buns on Good Friday.

Take a large bowl and with cooking spray of your choice, give it a good grease. I use avocado oil. Then place the dough into the bowl rotating it around until it is completely coated.

Cover it with a tea towel, set it in a warm place, and let it rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

And with just one scroll the hour is up! The dough should be doubled in size like so. Punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured counter.

Hot cross bun dough is risen in a bowl and doubled in size. Liturgy Kitchen provides an easy to make hot cross bun recipe for Catholic lent.

Roll the dough into a large smooth ball, and with a pastry cutter, butter knife, or bench scraper cut the dough into 12 even pieces. This is the bench scraper that I use, highly recommend for its quality.

To form smooth top buns I lightly press one finger down in the center while stretching the dough up with the other hand. Then I pinch it together and lay that side down.

Be sure to prepare your pan by first coating it with oil, don't forget this step. ☺️ The pan I recommend using is a 9x13" that has deep sides like this one.

Hot cross bun dough is divided into smaller balls to bake in the oven.

Cover the buns with a tea towel and put it back in the same warm place to rise for another 30-45 minutes.

Halfway through the rise time preheat your oven to 350 degrees and begin making the paste for the crosses. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup water, whisk together to form a paste. See the image of the ziploc bag for a visual, but think toothpaste consistency. If it's too runny, sprinkle in a little more flour until you get it right.

Water and flour are combined in a bowl to form the mixture that will make the crosses on top of the hot cross buns for Catholic lent.

Spoon the flour paste into a ziploc bag and make a tiny cut on the corner to pipe crosses on each bun.

Cross mixture is combined and placed in a ziploc bag to pipe over the top.

When the rise time is up, pipe the paste all the way across one row of buns, then go to the next row, and the next row. Turn your pan and do the same thing to make the second line of your cross. I find this is easier than making a full cross over each individual bun.

Tip: Be sure to go slow and let the paste fall to each side of the bun, hugging the edges.

Put the buns in the oven at 350 degrees for 22 minutes or until the surface is golden brown.

Hot cross buns have been baked and an apricot jam is being mixed to spread over the top. Liturgy Kitchen recipe for hot cross buns on good friday.

For the glaze, scoop 1 tbsp apricot jam and 2 tsps water into a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds, stir it together, and brush across the top of each bun as soon as they come out of the oven.

Orange is another flavor that would compliment these spices well.

Serve them up while they are warm!

Apricot glazed hot cross buns sit on a table next to a plant with the window open. His Girl Sunday bakes hot cross buns for Catholic holy week and good friday.

Hands break open a hot cross bun, steam comes out from the center. His Girl Sunday catholic liturgical living blog makes hot cross buns for holy week.

hot cross buns sit on a baking rack to cool for holy week.

Did you make this recipe? If so I would love to see it, drop a picture in the comment or send it to me on social media, Facebook @HisGirlSunday or Instagram @steffani_hisgirlsunday.

Catholic liturgical living blogger his girl sunday signature see you in the eucharist.

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