food 4 tots

Hot cross buns – A date with Chef Sam

hot cross buns



Source: Adapted from Chef Sam

Make: 12 buns


Group A: Sponge (to be used for the dough)
143g bread flour
107g whole wheat flour
9g yeast
150g water

Group B: Dough
Sponge (after fermentation in step 1 – approximately 409g)
107g bread flour
36g brown sugar
7g salt
4g cinnamon powder
64g water
21g butter (soften at room temperature)
107g raisins (conditioned –refer note 1)

Group C: Egg glaze
1 no. egg
1 tbsp water

Group D: Hot cross bun paste mixture
25g cake flour
7g vegetable oil
28g water


  1. Place all the ingredients in Group A (for sponge) in a bowl. Fix on the dough hook. Switch on the mixer and let the machine mix the ingredients till dough is formed and the side of the bowl is clean. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with cling wrap and rest for 2 hours to form a “sponge”. This process is called “fermentation”.
  2. After 2 hours, place the sponge (from step 1) together with the rest of the ingredients in Group B (except butter) in a bowl. Switch on the mixer and knead till the side of the bowl is clean.
  3. Add in butter and continue to knead till the dough is well developed (ie smooth and elastic). Do a “membrane” test – take out a small piece of dough, gently stretch it outwards at all the directions to form a thin layer of “membrane”. If your dough still has not reached this stage, you need to continue with the kneading and check again.
  4. Fold in the conditioned raisins. Make sure the raisins are fully covered by the dough.
  5. Round the dough, transfer to a clean bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let it rest (at floor time/ normal room temperature) for another 30 minutes.
  6. After resting, turn the dough bottom side up and punch down to flatten. Divide the dough into 12 portions with 60g each. Round each portion into a bun shape and place them on a greased baking pan.
  7. Then place the baking pan inside an oven with door close. Put a tray of hot water underneath the baking pan to increase the humidity level. Proof the buns until they are double in bulk, approximately 30-45 minutes. This process is called “proofing” (refer to note 2).
  8. After 30-45 minutes, remove the baking tray from the oven.
  9. Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush egg glaze on the surface of the buns and pipe the hot cross bun paste mixture onto the buns. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.


  1. How to condition the raisins – put raisins in a plastic bag, pour water inside the bag and immediately pour it out. Leave it overnight. This step is done so as to prevent the raisins from absorbing the moisture from the buns. For a variety, you can subsitute raisins with other dried fruits such as cranberries, apricots, etc.
  2. For proofing, relative humidity is 88%, 37°C. For my table top oven, I just put a small roasting pan filled with some hot boiling water to increase the humidity level. For built-in oven, you may need a bigger pan.
  3. You can also place your bun on a paper cup for a nicer presentation.
  4. You can refer to this post for a simplified diagram for sponge dough method. 

hot cross buns

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pei-Lin Liew, Low Lai Kuan. Low Lai Kuan said: Hot cross buns – A date with Chef Sam. […]

  2. Pei-Lin says:

    Wow, gorgeous-looking hot cross buns!! Wholemeal, too!!?? Couldn’t be better than that!

    You know, that’s a real handsome chef, too! Hahaha …! Lucky you for having the opportunity to be his student!

    Happy Easter Weekend to you & family!

  3. gertrude says:

    That is one handsome young chef. I like the hot cross buns as it is much healthier than the one I made 🙂 Happy Easter to you and your family.

  4. lingzie says:

    thanks for doing this super post!! love the photos and those buns look amazing! must give it a try soon 🙂

  5. anncoo says:

    Thank you for sharing this gorgeous and healthy hot cross bun. I would like to join Chef Sam classes one day.

  6. kongkay says:

    sweet! sweet! sweet!
    the bake, the baker and the photo opportunity.

  7. ck lam says:

    The hot cross bun sure is a popular item for the coming Easter holiday. Great post!

  8. A young, shy and talented chef! Hot cross buns look so tempting!

  9. noobcook says:

    what a great exchange! Thanks for bringing us such gorgeous photos and the yummy buns and tarts 🙂

  10. Quinn says:

    The hot cross buns look simply amazing and healthy for Easter! And your last shot caought me a bit. I’m procrastinating to get or not to get a pink KA!

    • food-4tots says:

      Quinn: I don’t mind to have them all year round. Yes, you should get one. It’s really a great investment for me. I bought it during Tang sales. Never regret. 😉

  11. lovely, awesome bread, a handsome chef, you so lucky! 🙂

  12. kathy says:

    Great photos. I liked the fresh fruit tart. It looks yummy. 🙂 Happy Easter!

  13. LCOM says:

    Beautiful buns! Happy Easter day to you & family!

  14. Alice says:

    Finally, we can see this handsome, talented man behind the screen! 😀 Beautiful hot cross bun! I must try it! 🙂

  15. felicia says:

    wah so exciting to go to these kinda things!
    next time ask me along, leh 😛

  16. tigerfish says:

    Does he sing the song “Hot cross bun, hot cross bun, one a penny, two a penny , hot cross bun” while he bakes or teaches baking these bun? Lucky you! Thanks for introducing him to me cos’ I am not a baker so not kept in touch with famous bakers around.

    • food-4tots says:

      Tigerfish: What a nice suggestion! No time for him to sing because there are too many things to teach during the class. Hopefully you will learn baking one day. 😉

  17. Little Inbox says:

    I believe this is a precious experience for you. 🙂
    Did your hand shake when taking photo of the young handsome guy? Hehe…

  18. You are good advertisement for his class =)
    Beautiful pictures! Yum… Am feeling hungry already….
    If you don’t mind my asking, what camera do you use?

  19. allie says:

    lovely session with such a handsome chef! 😀
    I can’t take my eyes off those buns. I love buns, bread, cookies..

  20. Dora says:

    Yes! I will certainly help myself. 🙂

  21. corajudd says:

    Great blog – Chef Sam has beautiful hands, too.

  22. mycookinghut says:

    The hot cross buns looks yum!!

  23. May says:

    May I know what brand of vegetable oil you are using?

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