Borough Market Hot Cross Buns

Welcome to another step-by-step recipe from BreadClub20. Why not drop by our main Facebook page by clicking here.... If you like what you see and enjoy the recipe, we hope you join us by 'Liking' and 'Subscribing'.

Borough Market in Southwark, London has operated since at least 1014 and probably earlier. Snorri Sturluson, the  Icelandic poet (1179 - 1241) describes Southwark as a 'great market town' in the Icelandic King's saga 'Heimskringla' of the 12th century.

Today, Borough Market is a food-lovers Emporium. The architecture of the modern market dates back to 1851. Here you can buy food from all over the World...cheeses, meats and, of course, bread. 

This recipe is for Hot Cross Buns. It's based on a traditional Hot Cross Bun, the history of which is covered in the BC20 recipe:

A few months ago I bought a hot cross bun from Borough Market. The chap selling them told me he infused the fruit in beer. That got me thinking. I've gone back to first principles to design a formula that incorporates a dark beer in which we soak the fruit and then use the excess towards the liquid in the bake. I've also added Spelt flour as an ancient grain. 

Voila...The Borough Market Hot Cross Bun. 

Let's bake them! 


To soak the fruit

65 gms mixed peel

56 gms sultanas

65 gms currants

Enough dark beer to just cover the fruit. The remainder of the beer can be used for another recipe (see end of this posting)

For the dough

400 gms strong white bread flour

100 gms spelt flour

300 gms tepid liquid (made from the beer drained from the fruit and added water to make up to 300 gms total))

30 gms dark brown sugar (Muscovado or Demerera) 

40 gms milk powder

80 gms unsalted butter

1 teaspoon crushed sea salt

1 beaten egg

3 gms active instant yeast

the chopped rind of one lemon

4 gms of mixed spice (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger / 1 teaspoon cinnamon / ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves)

for the crosses

80 gms spelt flour mixed to a paste with water

2 tablespoons warm honey for glazing. 


Stage 1 - soak the fruit

Place all the fruit in a bowl, cover it with just enough beer and leave for 2 hours. 

You're not going to use all the beer in this recipe...why not put the rest to good use and replace the water in a basic loaf recipe with the beer you have left. Waste not, want not! Need a recipe? Have a look at the bottom of this recipe. 

Stage 2 - make the dough

Place everything except the dried fruit into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Knead for 5 minutes until you have a soft and smooth dough. 

Drain and add the fruit and knead until all the fruit has been evenly distributed. 

Continue to knead until you have a soft and silky dough. Tip into a lightly-oiled bowl, cover and place in a warm spot to double in volume. 

Stage 3 - shaping

Weigh the dough and divide it into 12 even portions.

Roll each piece into a ball and arrange it onto a prepared baking sheet, leaving a little room for expansion, but enabling the buns to touch once expanded. 

Cover the buns with a  cloth and place them somewhere warm (about 24⁰C) for about 30 minutes until they have risen and are ready for baking. 

Stage 4 - preparing for the oven

Preheat the oven to 200⁰C. 

Mix the 50 gms of spelt and water into a paste. Put it into a piping bag. 

Pipe a line across the middle of the buns, then turn the baking sheet round and pipe a line at 90⁰ to create a cross on each. 

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 200⁰ until golden brown

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. 

Stage 5 - glazing

Melt the honey and brush over the top of the warm buns. Leave to cool. 

Happy baking....Til hamingju með bakstur...

What to do with the beer you haven't used? 

Leftover Beer bread

450 gms white bread flour

300 gms liquid (the beer you have left + any necessary additional water)

25 gms unsalted butter

1 tablespoon dried milk

1 tablespoon dark sugar

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon crushed salt

1 tablespoon chia or similar seed

Make it into dough. Knead and then leave to rise until doubled. 

Knock back, shape and leave to rise again

Bake at 180⁰C for 30 minutes. 


For printing 


Popular Posts