Breads (Yeast) - Buns/Rolls

Hot Cross Buns

April 10, 2020 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Happy Ester!  

During this lockdown period eggs are limited.  So, I have been trying to minimise use of eggs in my baking where possible.  I tried to make Hot Cross Buns using the Yudane method and without eggs added except for a little bit of egg-wash.  

These Hot Cross Buns are very soft and delicious even without syrup glazing.  The traditional Hot Cross Buns usually has a syrup glazing but as usual, I try to make everything with less sugar.

Yudane method is quite similar to Tangzhong (water-roux) method.  Both methods are scalding method. For the Yudane method, boiling water is used to scald the flour instead of cooking over the fire.  Please click here to see the differences between  Yudane vs Tangzhong Method. 

For Sourdough version, please click here "Sourdough Hot Cross Buns" 

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Hot Cross Buns (Yudane Method)

Yields: 16 buns


Yudane Dough:
80g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
80g boiling water

Bun Dough:
320g bread flour (I used Japan high gluten flour)
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
40g sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tsp ground mixed spices
180g full cream milk
35g salted butter, room temperature 
75g raisins, rinsed with hot water and drained
Zest of 1 1/2 orange

Egg Wash:
1 egg + 1 tbsp milk or cream (I used milk)

Flour Paste for The Cross:
40g plain flour
40g water 
1 tsp veg. oil

9" square pan, lined with parchment paper
Pipping bag
Round tip noozle no. 4


Yudane Dough:
  1. Add bread flour in a bowl, pour the boiling water and mix well with spatula or spoon.  
  2. Cling film and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.  I prepared mine the night before.
  3. Take out from the fridge 30 minutes before using to return to room temperature.
Bun Dough:
  1. Put all ingredients together with yudane dough (except butter) into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead for 3 - 5 minutes at medium speed (Chef Kenwood mixer, speed 2.5) until the dough comes together. Add in butter and continue kneading at medium speed for another 12 - 15 minutes until the dough comes together and reach window pane stage. I noticed that it is harder to achieve a very thin window pane  with Yudane method dough. It could be due to the gelatinization of its starch.  It is fine if your window pane is not very thin as long as you have kneaded the dough long enough. During the whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
  2. Add in rinsed raisins and continue kneading for about less than a minute.  Transfer dough to a counter top and knead with hand for about 2 - 3 minutes or until the raisins evenly mix in the dough. 
  3. Leave the dough in the same bowl and cover with kitchen towel or plastic. Let it rise in a warm place for 45 - 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 16 equal portions, about 51g each portion. Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact. Roll each portion into a ball.  After finishing shaping all the dough, place buns 4X4 in a prepared baking pan.
  5. Let it proof for another 25 - 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Egg Wash:
  1. Whisk egg with milk or cream.  Set aside.
Flour Paste for The Cross:
  1. Whisk flour and water together until become a thick pipeable paste.  Please adjust accordingly by adding more flour or water until you get the right consistency.  Transfer the paste to a pipping bag fitted with round tip no. 2.  Set aside.  If you do not have a piping bag or a round tip, just used a clean plastic bag and snip the tip/corner off.
  1. Preheat oven at 180C (top and bottom heat) for 10 minutes.
  2. Once buns doubled in size, brush with egg wash. Pipe a cross on each bun with the prepared paste.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Please do not bake too long, it will cause the buns become dry and hard.
  4. Remove buns from oven. Immediately rub some cold butter on the buns if you wish.  Transfer the buns onto a cooling rack.


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.

For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until it rises 80 - 90% in size or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.


  1. I love your recipes... they are so innovative. Keep them coming :-).

    Best regards,

    1. Hi, thank you for trying this recipe and your kind comment. Your encouragement is much appreciated.

      Cheers :)

  2. Best ever hot cross buns!! THANK YOU

    1. Hi, You are most welcome. Thanks for trying and your kind feedback. Glad to hear that you like it.

      Cheers and have a wonderful day :)

  3. Thank you for the recipe with clear instruction and pictures.
    My very first hot cross buns came out as mentioned, soft, moist and fluffy. I put cranberries instead as no raisins in hand. It's super delicious and everyone loves it!

    1. Hi, thank you for trying this recipe and your kind feedback. Cranberries go well with the buns too. Your compliment mean a lot to me.

      Cheers and Happy Easter :)


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