Hot Cross Buns

Prep Time: 120 min Cook Time: 30 min
Servings: 9 Skill Level: hard

Hot cross buns are similar to your traditional enriched dinner roll, and our take is a savory version enriched with rich & buttery Pearls Specialties Castelvetranos.

Recipe and image attributed by Chef Joe Sasto



  • 2 Tbsp bread flour
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 4 Tbsp whole milk

Bread Dough:

  • 2.5 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp allspice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 jar Pearls Castelvetrano Olives

Egg wash:

  • one egg
  • splash of milk

Orange Butter

  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade

Cross Mix

  • 2 Tbsp AP flour
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp oil

Cooking Instructions

  1. For the tangzhong, add all ingredients together over medium heat, and constantly whisk until it becomes a paste.
  2. Once thick, remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. For the primed yeast mixture, add and mix together. Store in a warm area and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. In a stand mixer bowl, add the dry ingredients. Add in milk and yeast mixture, the tangzhong mix, and a whole egg. Mix on low speed, scraping the sides occasionally.
  5. When dough starts coming together, increase speed to medium-low. Gradually add butter until incorporated and nothing sticks to the sides. About 5-7 minutes. During the last few minutes of mixing, add in smash or chopped olives, drained from the jar liquid.
  6. Dump dough onto a work surface and roll into a tight ball.
  7. Place dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours, or doubled in size.
  8. Punch dough down and dump onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide into 9 equal pieces (75 g each).
  9. Lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking dish, roll dough pieces into small tight balls and place into the baking dish in rows of three. Cover with a damp towel and let proof for 1-2 hours.
  10. Brush with egg wash (egg beaten together with a splash of whole milk). Bake in a preheated oven set to 350F for 28-30 minutes.
  11. For the orange garlic butter, finely chop garlic and add to a cold pan with unsalted butter. Heat over medium heat. Sweat the garlic for 30 seconds and immediately remove from the heat. Stir in orange marmalade
  12. Remove buns from oven and immediately brush with orange butter and flaky salt.

with Us