Hot cross bun milk loaf, made by adding the flavours of a hot cross bun with a Hokkaido milk loaf.
A deliciously fluffy fruity loaf, perfect for slicing and enjoying toasted with butter.
Hot cross buns, traditionally eaten on good Friday, are one of my favourite bread buns.Jump to Recipe
I make hot cross buns every year, you can find my recipe for traditional ones here.
Weirdly i am not a big fan of dried fruit, but i really like it in bread.
I love toasted tea cakes too, which are very similar to hot cross buns.
I believe that a hot cross bun has to be toasted and slathered with butter, there is just no point eating it else.
The butter melts into the warm bun making it even more delicious.
I made it last year (photo of last years version above) and my family really loved it, so i decided to bake it again. This year i made a smaller, but taller one.
Basically 3 rolls in a smaller tin, rather than four in a longer tin.
This year the loaf seemed all the more special, not because i changed anything about the recipe but because of the situation we all find our selves in.
I have found some comfort in the process or making bread lately.
Hot cross bun loaf
Enriched dough’s can take a bit longer to rise, sometimes more than the normal one hour, i often make the dough the night before and let it rise in the fridge.
It is usually recommended to add the dried fruit and citrus peel after the first rise.
The weight of it can stunt the growth of the dough, However i have added it at the beginning and it has also been ok.
Candied citrus peel is easy to find in the supermarkets or online, (usually) i had some left from a bake i made at Christmas time.
To make the dried mix fruit more plump it is soaked in hot tea and some orange juice in advance.
Earl grey tea is great for this as it has a citrus flavour any way from the bergamot oil in it.
Spices, brown sugar, chopped candied ginger and orange zest are also added to give the bread lots of flavour.
Hokkaido milk bread is made using a tangzhong paste.
Shaping the loaf
The loaf is shaped in the same way as a Hokkaido milk loaf would be, rolled up and placed in a tin.
Hot cross bun milk loaf
Recipe adapted from the milk bread recipe in A common table by
Cynthia Chen McTernan from Two red bowls
Note = It can be hard to give exact measurements for bread as different brands of flours can be more absorbent, and egg sizes vary.
Add 1/3 milk first, then gradually add the extra 1/4 cup until you have a nice soft dough, you can add more if needed.
Hot cross bun Hokkaido milk loaf
For the tangzhong
- 2 tbsp strong bread flour
- 6 tbsp water
- 1/3 +1/4 cup whole milk (approx 140ml)
- 1 1/2 tsp dried fast action yeast (7g sachet)
- 320 g strong bread flour (2 and a half cups)
- 1 tbsp non fat dried milk powder or condensed milk
- 4 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground all spice
- 20 g candied stem ginger finely chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- 40 g candied citrus peel finely chopped
- 150 g mixed dried fruit soaked in boiling water with 1 earl grey tea bag and 3 tbsp orange juice for at least 30 minutes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp orange zest
The night before
- The night before or at least two hours before baking (I have always made it the night before) Add the dried mixed fruit in a bowl and cover with boiling water and add the tea bag and orange juice and leave it to plump up for at least half an hour. longer if you like.Drain the liquid away and place fruit in a bowl and add the candied mixed peel, chopped candied ginger and orange zest.: in a small sauce pan bring the milk just to the boil, 2 to 3 minutes, or heat to the boil in a microwave, in a microwave safe bowl. About one minute. Set aside to cool slightly. Pour through a sieve when ready to use If you find a film has formed on the surface.Now make the tangzhong: in a small sauce pan add the water and flour and whisk until no lumps remain. Heat over a medium/low heat whisking constantly until the mixture resembles a roux like gel, about 2 minutes. As soon as lines begin to appear in the mixture when it is stirred, remove from the heat and transfer to a small clean bowl and allow to cool down to room temperature.Prepare the dough: When the milk is just warm and no longer hot, about 100f to 110f, Add 1/3 cup of it into a bowl, sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile in the bowl of your stand mixer add the flour, salt, sugar, spices and milk powder and mix. Once the yeast has foamed, add the egg and tangzhong and whisk together until well combined.Turn your mixer on and pour in the liquid and start mixing with the dough hook. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk, see note on post. After the dough has been mixing for two minutes add the butter in small chunks a bit at a time and making sure it is combined before you add the next chunk. Turn the mixer up and knead for another 3 to 5 minutes. (if the dough seems dry you can add more milk, or if it seems to wet you can add 1 tbsp more flour, but you want it to be quite soft)Place the dough in a large bowl, so it has space to rise and cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night until it has doubled in size. (alternatively let is rise in a cool place for 2 hours)
The next day Or after the dough has doubled in size
- The next day: remove the dough from the fridge. when I do this over night method I like to leave the bowl on the work top for 30 minutes so it can get back to room temperature, but I’m not sure that step is essential. Knock the air out and knead in the fruit/peel until combined.shape the loafI rolled it out into a large rectangle and folded it in half and cut it into equal pieces and rolled it up and placed them in a lined baking tin. A tall 9×5 loaf pan is ideal. Leave to rise again for 1 hour, until doubled in size.Preheat the oven to 180c 350f. Hot cross buns don't have a egg wash traditionally, instead they are glazed with melted marmalade after they baked, you can do an egg wash if you wish.Make crosses by mixing a batter. Mix a little plain flour about 50g with a water a little at a time until you get a thick pipe-able paste. pour into piping bag and pipe on.Bake for approx 35/40 minutes until golden brown, or an instant read thermometer inserted into the middle reads 200f (at 30 minutes it was quite brown so I covered the top with some foil so it didn’t burn.Heat a tbsp of marmalade and brush on to the top of the loaf.slice and toast under the grill and serve with butter.
This is a larger version, using the same recipe but in a longer tin.
This will produce a shorter rise, but mean there is more loaf.