The Tasha Tudor Cookbook
about 2.5 hours
A Process, but Satisfying

Tasha Tudor always made Hot Crossed Buns to serve at tea on Good Friday. This recipe comes from The Tasha Tudor Cookbook. In it, Tasha writes, "This receipt came from the 1861 edition of Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management. It was modified at least sixty years ago, to its present delectable state, by my Scottish nanny, Mary Burnett ("Dady"). Absolutely no other hot cross buns can compare. Just try them and you will agree. Just be careful not to add the butter when it is too hot, as it will kill the yeast.

Double the receipt if you desire more than twelve buns. I always do, as these have a tendancy to disappear when guests or family are about! Also, when I double the receipt I use a total of three packets of yeast for twentry-four buns; the extra yeast thems them lighter."

Ingredients for buns
  • 2 cups of unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 1 cup of milk warmed to 110°F
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of melted unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of currants
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Ingredients for Icing
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons light cream or milk, or enough to make the icing easy to spread

"In a small mixing bowl, stir the milk into the yeast to dissolve, adding 1 teaspoon of the 1/2 sugar. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, the remaining sugar, the cinnamon, and the currants. Add the milk and yeast mixture and mix well. Cover with a warm towel, set aside, and allow to rise in a draft-free place for 30 minutes. 

Add the salt and melted butter, being sure that the butter is not too hot, so as not to destroy the live yeast. Knead the dough lightly on a generously floured surface, then place in mixing bowl, cover again, and let rise until double in size, 1 hour or so. 

Shape the dough into 12 buns and place on a parchement paper lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and cool on racks. 

When the buns are cool, make an X on top of each one with a pastry tube filled with the icing mixture." 

Serve with tea and enjoy!