Dan Lepard’s Hot Cross Buns

100% Yellow

She picked at the spiced dough on her fingers,
bejewelled golden raisins and apricots,
cardamom and cinnamon that lingered in sweet

warm aromas of rich gilded colours.
Her fingers were stained amber, and the tip
of her nose was powdered yellow with pollen.

Surrounded by spring, her head was awash
in the scent of spiced hot cross dough as she
inhaled April’s arrival, drinking up the scent of her
hot cross buns and 100% yellow daffodils.
© MiskMask 2012

Dan Lepard’s Hot Cross Buns


Thanks to Dan Lepard, I’ve broken the tradition of baking bullet-proof buns. For the life of me, I don’t know why my rolls resemble croquette balls rather than something edible. The baps that I made a few months were okay; they didn’t bounce off the floor and threaten to blind anyone. I was encouraged. Then I made cottage rolls, and I was back to blinding buns again. So I was a bit, just a bit, anxious about trying buns again. There was no need. Dan’s recipe for hot cross buns is a confidence-builder.


I only made two adjustment to the recipe, 1) replacing the honey and sugar with agave syrup so that my diabetic husband could have one (the double cream isn’t ideal for him so replacing the honey helps with lower the GI number), and 2) I used half raisins and half apricots rather than the mixed dried fruit.


The dough was very sleepy and didn’t rise much on the first proof. I finally moved the bowl to the airing cupboard, and things moved along better. After shaping the dough into balls, I let them rise again in the warmth of the airing cupboard, and although not evenly shaped, they did rise well. I need to work on my shaping skills!


All was going so well, too. And then disaster. I don’t have a pastry bag, so I used a plastic freezer bag with the tip of one corner snipped off. The first few crosses were a bit unsteady but soon I had the feel for it, and my thin straight lines spilled across the top of the buns.


And then bag blew its side out and the semi-snotty-gluey white cross mixture flew across the top of the buns, across the worktop, on the window, my shoe and the wall. The only thing I could manage to utter was a whimpering Ooooooh noooooo. I salvaged what I could and continued.

The recipe didn’t mention steaming the oven, but after a trial bake of two buns in which one bun blew its top and side, I thought it wise to put some moisture into process. There was fantastic oven spring that more than compensated for its sleepy proofing.


I recommend these wholeheartedly. Easy to make and absolutely delicious. We ate two, and I’ve frozen the rest for Easter Breakfast. You can find Dan Lepard’s recipe at The Guardian Newspaper’s website. If that link doesn’t work, here’s the URL. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/mar/23/hot-cross-buns-recipe-custard-tart


24 Comments Add yours

  1. Glenda says:

    Hi Misk
    I was just thinking that I wouldn’t make any hot cross buns this year after just making the Easter Wreath Cake as there are only so many calories one can take in one week. I hope I don’t change my mind.
    Your buns look lovely.

    1. Misky says:

      You could freeze them. That’s what I did. We ate 2 yesterday but froze the rest. We’re less apt to gobble them up when they’re frozen. 🙂

  2. Hi there, maybe delete this after reading, but isn’t this Dan fellow the one who’s people give bloggers grief over recipes? I’m sure they gave Amanda grief http://www.lambsearsandhoney.com/

    1. Misky says:

      I don’t know anything about that, Lizzy, but I haven’t included the recipe so I can’t see that it’s a problem. What happened with Amanda? I looked around her blog can’t see anything specific from Dan.

      1. I think she may have deleted the stream on that one, perhaps, I couldn’t find it either. True, you didn’t include the recipe, so no dramas. Just didn’t want to see you have probs. Cheers!

        1. MIsk I know you’ve linked the recipe so absolutely no drama, but I will also link Amanda’s troubles as it was really interesting to read the whole drama as so many of us are Dan Lepard fans.


  3. Tandy says:

    they look fantastic!

    1. Misky says:

      Thanks, Tandy! They’re total scrummy, too. 🙂

  4. ceciliag says:

    i cannot tell you how grateful i am when your buns do not work perfectly either.. call me selfish… I simply love your poetry and you so seldom treat us with your lines that they are all the more precious.. have a wonderful evening and oh i almost forgot, my vinegar has developed a MOTHER! I am so proud! c

    1. Misky says:

      You are a sweetheart. All of my poetry is over at http://miskmask.wordpress.com but sometimes I put a poem that feels right on Misk Cooks. I mean a poem about drought and the desertification of western China doesn’t really suit cookery. Haha.

      These buns might look a bit scruffy but gosh they are delicious! Dan Lepard left me a message on Facebook saying they looked good, so that made me feel quite special. 🙂

      And congratulations on creating a Mother of Vinegar. Yahoo! I have one bottle of apple cider vinegar left, and it also has a healthy MOV growing. The vinegar has a nice acidic tang to it, too!

  5. Soft fluffy and bursting with delicious ingredients – yum 😀

    Happy Easter!
    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Misky says:

      Spot on. Yum! 🙂 And happy Easter to you, too. 😀

  6. These buns look fantastic! I just pinned one of your photos to Pinterest. I’m here via MNINB … happy April Platform Challenge!

    1. Misky says:

      Hi Lynn,
      Very happy that you found me. I will visit yours later today. And yes, the buns are delicious!

  7. Yum. I think I really need to make some buns with the dried apricot in it. Glad the husband didn’t miss out on these goodies 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      They’re disappearing fast. Youngest son and his girlfriend are enjoying them. A lot. 😀

  8. Joanna says:

    lovely buns! we made a third batch of ours today as Our guests had eaten the freezer supplies and B made the excuse that his Mum hadn’t had any, so he made them and I piped the crosses on and we took a big hot bag over to see her 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      I need to refine my piping bag skills. Do you have a proper bag for the purpose?

      I think I will make another batch this week for the freezer. I need to bake more bread, too. We’ve been eating these past few days! 🙂

      1. Joanna says:

        Yes, I do, and some disposable ones as well from our friends at Lakeland. I watched some vids about how to fill them, which I always used to find really awkward.

        1. Misky says:

          I don’t think I know my own strength; blew the sides right out of the bag. (sigh)

  9. Finally, a poem fragment and your charming photographs were borrowed for the #shortandtweet 23 Bevy of Beautiful Buns compilation. Thank you 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      Help yourself. More at http://miskmask.wordpress.com if you find anything you like. 🙂

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