Savoury hot cross buns

Savoury Hot Cross Buns

Photographer: Kate
Makes 18 buns

Whether it’s chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, hot cross buns (both the fruity and the chocolate kind) there is no doubting that the average blood sugar level per capita is peaking during the Easter period. This recipe is for those of you who don’t have a huge sweet tooth or alternatively for those who want to give their body a bit of a break from the sweet stuff.

Use your imagination and cram these buns with your favourite breakfast accompaniments; homemade chutney, a fried egg, avocado, bacon, rocket.


Bun dough:
1 cup milk
3/4 cup water
2 tsp Instant Dry Yeast
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg
5 1/2 cups High-grade flour
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground chilli
1 tsp salt
80g butter, softened (5 tablespoons US)
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup sundried tomatoes, cut into raisin-sized pieces
200g Havarti cheese, grated (1 1/2 cup US)

Cross mixture:
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon caster sugar

For the glaze:
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Add the flour, spices and salt to a bowl. Note: a stand mixer can also be used, just attach the dough hook.
3. Warm the milk and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat until lukewarm. Add the yeast, sugar and beaten egg to the milk mixture. Incorporate until the yeast has completely dissolved. Set aside.
4. Add the yeast mixture and the softened butter to the flour mixture. Knead for approximately 10 minutes until all ingredients are combined and a smooth dough has formed.
5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a further minute. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour. The dough should double in size.
6. Remove the sun-dried tomatoes from the oil – pat dry using a paper towel. Roughly chop into raisin-sized pieces. Grate the Havarti cheese and roughly chop the parsley. Set aside.
7. When the dough has proved, transfer it back to a lightly floured surface. Knead in the sun-dried tomatoes, grated cheese and parsley.
8. Divide the dough into approximately 18 evenly sized balls. Be sure to shape balls into a bun shape, keeping the top of the bun smooth and taught.
9. Place the balls onto a large oven tray lined with baking paper. Position the balls so they are just touching one-another. Cover with a tea towel and place back in a warm environment to prove for a further 45 minutes.
10. While buns are proving, prepare the mixture for the crosses. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl. Add the water and mix until smooth. The consistency should resemble a smooth paste which is easy to pipe – a bit like body moisturiser.
11. Place in a piping bag or Snap Lock bag (with a small piece cut from the corner) and pipe in cross formation over the top of the buns.
12. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
13. While the buns are cooking prepare the glaze. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Once sugar has dissolved and the mixture resembles a syrup, remove from the heat. Once the buns are cooked and golden, brush the tops with the glaze and set aside to cool.
14. Jam-pack individual buns with your chosen breakfast fillings. Enjoy.