Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

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Who doesn’t enjoy a toasted, buttery, Hot Cross Bun, in the run up to Easter? My previous post shows you how to make these delicious buns. Some people, for whatever reason, can only eat 100% wholemeal bread, so I decided, they shouldn’t have to miss out on all the Easter food fun and so developed this recipe for 100% Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns perfect just as they are!

Everyone can enjoy these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns, eaten just as they are or split and toasted with a light spread of butter.

The beauty of these buns is, you get that wonderful, cinnamon, spicy aroma, that fills the house whilst they are baking and then you get it again when they are toasted.

In fact, having just toasted a hot cross bun, for my breakfast a couple of years ago, there was a knock on the front door. The postman had a parcel to deliver. As I stood there signing for the parcel, the postman revealed that he could smell the toasted bun and that it was his favourite smell in the world!

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns a healthy breakfast or snack.

These Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns are just as easy to make and bake as the regular ones. I switched the flour from strong white bread flour, to 100% wholemeal baking flour – not bread flour. I upped the yeast content and with a few more tweaks, these gorgeous buns were made!

Wholemeal Hot Cross Bun
The cross on this Wholemeal Hot Cross Bun is there as a reminder.

The cross on the bun, is there to symbolise and remind us of The Cross on which Jesus died, only to surprise a lot of people, when He was fully alive two days later. It is good, that the small symbol of a cross on a bun, reminds us that Jesus came for a reason. To love the unloved, to heal the sick, to befriend those that society cast out. Don’t forget, out of two of His followers, one was a tax collector and the other a prostitute!

So amidst all the chocolate and bunnies, lovely though they are, maybe take a moment to remember you are loved.

The book of John chapter 3 verse 16 says:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that who so ever believes in Him shall not be lost (perish), but have everlasting life.”

One small verse packs quite a powerful punch. You and I are the who so ever. Know that you are loved. No matter what your circumstances, you are loved more than you could ever imagine.

If you would like to know more about this, please read Important Stuff.

Now to show your body some love by making these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns.

Recipe: Makes 12 Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

500g/1lb 2oz Wholemeal Flour (not bread flour) – I used Duchy Organic from Waitrose

160ml/scant 6fl oz Whole Milk – slightly warmed (body temp)

120ml/4.5fl oz Water – slightly warmed (body temp)

2 Large Eggs – I use free range

1tbsp Honey

14g/ 2 Sachets Fast Acting Dried Yeast

10g/ approx 1tsp Salt

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter at room temp. – plus extra for greasing the baking tray.

3tsp Cinnamon

150g/5oz Sultanas or Raisins

For the crosses:

50g/2oz Wholemeal flour

60ml/2.5fl oz Water

Apricot jam or honey to glaze approx 2tbsp

Method: This method is for use with a bread maker or stand mixer. You can off course make these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns by hand.

The ‘bowl’ refers to the bowl of a stand mixer or the mixing compartment of a bread maker.

  • Add both the milk and water to the bowl.
  • Next add both eggs, the honey and yeast.
  • Swish about with clean fingers to mix.
  • Now add the flour on top of the liquid mixture.
  • Place the salt and butter on top of the flour.

For a bread maker, set the cycle to dough and press start. When prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes before mixing stops, add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Allow the bread maker to complete the dough cycle.

When the bread maker has completed the dough cycle, ensure the dough has doubled in size, if not wait until it has. Then re start the dough cycle for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

For a stand mixer attach the dough hook. Start mixing on a low speed. Once the contents of the bowl resemble dough continue to mix on medium/slow speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough, from the hook, into the bowl. Add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for a further 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes mixing is complete, stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough back into the bowl, it will be very sticky – don’t worry. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Once the stand mixer dough has doubled in size, lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

Shaping the Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns – Grease a large baking tray  (40cm x 28cm x 2.5 cm) with butter.

  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Lightly form the dough into a ball.
  • Cut the dough in half using a large knife or metal dough scraper.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

    Roll each half into a log shape and cut into 6 even portions.
  • Roll each portion into a ball. Tucking the seam at the bottom.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Place each dough ball on the baking tray, spacing evenly apart.
  • Cover with a damp cloth and place in a draught free place until doubled in size – approx. 1 hour.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Whilst the buns are proving mix the flour and water together, for the crosses and place in a small piping bag or plastic sandwich bag.
  • Once the buns have doubled in size, snip the end off of the piping bag (corner of a sandwich bag) to leave a small hole.
  • 10 minutes before the buns are ready to bake preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan gas mark 7.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Pipe the crosses onto the Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns.
  • Place the buns into the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • The Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns are baked when they are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Once baked remove the Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Place the apricot jam into a heatproof bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt.
  • Brush the warm buns with apricot jam using a pastry brush.
  • Leave to cool completely.

Gorgeous Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns ready to be shared with loved ones!

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns packaged into a tin, ready to be given away.

If you have the capacity, why not bake a double batch of these delicious Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns and give some away?

The feedback I have from these buns has been excellent. I tried one myself and they truly are moist, not heavy or dense and packed with delicious fruit and cinnamon flavour. What more could I ask for?

I’m sure friends, family, work colleagues or even your postman would appreciate such a delicious gift!

Do you have special dietary requirements?

I am going to be working on a gluten free/dairy free version of these buns in the next few days.

If you enjoyed this recipe then you may want to take a look at these:

Wholemeal Cob Loaf

Crunchy Seeded Bread

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

I hope you have fun making and baking, but especially feasting with others.

Sammie xx




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Hi, I'm Sammie, a young 40 something girl who loves life, Jesus, her family, cooking, gardening and photography. I have a passion for sharing and encouraging others to share. My way to show love is through food whilst having fun. Hence Feasting Is Fun!!

4 thoughts on “Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns”

  1. Wow. These are very impressive! 100% whole grain buns definitely aren’t the easiest thing to make. They look delicious! And I hope you shared your toasted bun with the postman all those years ago. 😉 I mean, if it was his favorite smell in the whole world and all!

  2. Ah thanks Erin. I did offer him one but he was working. Now you’ve mentioned it though, he lives in our road and has recently retired, I will take up a tin of freshly baked ones for him to share with his wife! Sammie x

  3. Followed this recipe to the letter and so disappointed! Came out like hard lumps of baked sawdust. Only fit for the birds.

    1. Hi Linda, that’s a shame that this recipe didn’t work out for you. Did you use Strong Wholemeal Bread Flour or wholemeal baking flour (without any raising agent added)? May I ask which brand of flour you used as well? As well as Triple testing this recipe prior to posting it has been successfully made by others.

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