Breakfast + Brunch


Island Spiced Hot Cross Buns

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About Island Hot Cross Buns

Island hot cross buns are a tropical twist on the classic recipe, featuring a fragrant blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves infused into soft, pillowy dough. Bursting with plump raisins and a hint of citrus zest, these buns offer a delightful contrast of flavors. Finished with a glossy apricot glaze, they boast a sweet and tangy finish, making them a perfect indulgence for Easter or any occasion.


Ingredients for Buns

8 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup brown sugar

6 teaspoons active dry yeast

6 tablespoons butter (softened)

4 large eggs (beaten)

2 cups warm milk (divided use)

Zest of 2 oranges

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 1/2 cups raisins

1 cup hot ginger tea

2 tablespoons Jamaican white rum

Ingredients for Crosses

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup water

Ingredients for Glaze

1/2 cup apricot jam (warmed)


01Brew the ginger tea and add raisins and rum to it in a small bowl and set aside.
02In a small bowl, gently warm 1 cup of milk for about 20-30 seconds in the microwave. The milk should feel lukewarm to the touch and there should be no discomfort when touching it. Add yeast, a teaspoon of brown sugar and stir to dissolve and set it aside. The yeast should foam and get bubbly.
03Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, sugar, butter, eggs, milk + yeast, cinnamon, all spice, cloves and nutmeg. Bring the dough together with your fingers. Continue to add the remaining milk, a little at a time, until all the flour comes from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all the milk, or you may need to add a little more. The dough should be soft, but not soggy. Use the mixture to clean the sides of the bowl until the mixture forms a rough dough.
04Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead. Knead for 5–10 minutes until the dough starts to form a soft and smooth skin.
05Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover it with cling film and place in the oven. Turn the oven light on for extra warmth. The dough should double in size in 1-2 hours.
06Drain the raisins and pat them dry.
07Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and scatter the drained raisins and orange zest on top. Knead them into the dough until they are evenly dispersed.
08Divide the dough into 24 pieces and roll into balls. Place the balls fairly close together, on 2 lined baking trays, lined with parchment paper.
09Cover the trays with cling film and leave to rest for 1 hour, or until the dough is at least doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
10For the crosses, mix the flour and water to a paste. Use a piping bag to pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden the buns are golden brown.
11Glaze the buns with warm apricot jam by brushing the tops with a silicone brush. Serve with butter or cheddar cheese.

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Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Wait until the pan is hot and the butter has fully melted.