Makes 24
I have been searching for the ultimate Hot Cross Bun recipe for years. This time our team put our heads together and sorted out the gremlins. But be prepared for quite a lengthy prep-method. • We found that a pre-cooked yeast paste was essential for longevity of the buns. • The yeast, sugar etc. was added to this lukewarm paste and left to sponge before adding any spices. Spices tend to inhibit the action of the yeast. • We also gave it a SA. twist by adding dried mango, but you can bump up the raisins and leave out the mango/apple. Apple juice definitely contributes to the flavour. • The paste used for the crosses was mixed with hot water which gave a more pliable mixture.
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Products in this recipe

Seasoned Sea Salt Seasoning

You will need

¼ cup (60 ml) marmalade
1 cup (250 ml) seedless raisins
½ cup (125 ml) mango or apple strips (cut small)
¾ cup (180 ml) apple juice

½ cup (125 ml) full cream milk
¼ cup (60 ml) cake flour

¼ cup (60 g) butter
2 T (30 ml) canola oil
1 ¼ cups (330 ml) full cream milk, lukewarm
¼ cup (60 ml) sugar
1 packet dry yeast

4 cups (500 g) cake flour
1 T (15 ml) Ina Paarman’s Seasoned Sea Salt Seasoning
2 T (30 ml) ground cinnamon
1 T (15 ml) ground ginger
¼ t (1.75 ml) cloves
¼ t (1.75 ml) nutmeg

½ cup (125 ml) cake flour
2 t (10 ml) sugar
⅓ cup (80 ml) boiling hot water

¼ cup (60 ml) golden syrup or honey
1 T (15 ml) boiling water
1 T (15 ml) marmalade


Mix marmalade, raisins, mango and apple juice together and microwave for 1 minute to plump the fruit. Leave to stand on one side.

Make the flour paste by mixing the milk and flour in a small saucepan. Warm while stirring until it thickens to a paste.

Remove from heat. Add butter and oil, stir until butter is melted.

Now add milk, sugar and lastly yeast. Stir to blend. Leave to stand in a warm spot until the yeast starts to foam ± 30 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, mix together (on slow speed) flour, Seasoned Sea Salt and spices.

Add the yeast mixture and mix to from a sticky dough. Add the fruit mixture and knead very well with the dough hook.

Remove mixing bowl, cover with a cloth and leave the dough to rise in a warm spot. Leave the dough until double in size ± 45 minutes.

Prepare a Swissroll pan, 39 cm x 26 cm, butter and line the pan with baking paper.

Knock down dough again and divide into 24 balls. Knead one ball at a time and shape it by folding it under and stretching the top of each roll before re-rolling it into a ball and putting it into the lined pan.

Cover lightly with a cloth and leave to double in size again.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Prepare the dough for the crosses by mixing the flour and sugar with the hot water. Leave to stand.

Transfer the paste for crosses to a small plastic bag. Cut a tiny hole in the one corner.

Pipe crosses over the buns only after they have risen again.

Bake the buns for 50 – 60 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Run a knife along the edges to help release the buns from the sides of the pan. Lift the buns out from the pan.

While the buns are hot, glaze the tops with the golden syrup or honey mixture. Serve the buns toasted. These buns are best eaten the day they’re made but can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.