Share a family favourite this Easter and make homemade Hot Cross Buns on a Flare outdoor fireplace. Sitting in the embers, using a dutch oven, create delicious and golden Hot Cross Buns for everyone to enjoy.


Sourdough starter
  • 25g sourdough starter
  • 75g all-purpose flour
  • 75g water

(This make approximately 175g starter in total. 150g will be used in the recipe.)


  • 100g raisins or other dried fruit.
  • 60ml orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 50g all-purpose flour
  • 50g water
Sugar Glaze
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp boiled water
Hot cross bun dough
  • 450g all purpose or bread flour (with a protein level of at least 11%)
  • 75g soft brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 220g milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 150g active sourdough starter
  • 60g room temperature butter, cubed.


The Night Before
  1. Combine the starter ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Tip it into a clean jar. Leave it on the bench to rise and cover the jar with a tea towel or loosely balanced lid.
Day 1
  1. Heat the juice of the orange in a saucepan and add in the dried fruit and orange zest. Stir together and leave it to sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Add to a mixing bowl all the hot cross bun dough ingredients except for the butter and the soaked fruit. Mix together with a fork to create a shaggy dough.
  3. Mixing by hand: Tip the dough onto a clean bench. Knead for around 5 minutes to create some strength. Place a few of the butter cubes into the middle of the dough, work them in, then continue with the rest of the butter. The butter is going to make the dough very sticky. Spend at least 10-15 minutes kneading the dough to incorporate the butter and develop the gluten in the dough.
  4. It is a very sticky dough once the butter is incorporated, but don’t be tempted to add more flour. Take a break in between kneading if you want to – the dough responds well to a bit of resting time. *, see notes and video in post. The dough will always be a bit sticky, even when kneaded, however, it should feel strong and elastic.
  5. Mixing in a stand-mixer. This can also be done in a stand mixer with a dough hook. Mix the butter in a few cubes at a time, then continue mixing for 8-10 minutes until the dough is strong and smooth.
  6. Once the dough has been kneaded, drain the fruit. Squeeze out the extra moisture from the fruit with your fists.
  7. Add the fruit to the dough. This will be very sticky as the fruit will bring in more moisture. Keep rolling and folding it to incorporate the fruit. Then gather the dough into a ball. *, see notes and video in post.
  8. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl, cover the bowl with a plate or damp tea towel, and let the dough proof for 4-5 hours, ideally at around 25°C/77°F. After this time the dough should bulk out by around 40-50%.
  9. After this, place the dough in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Cold Proofing – Two Options
  1. Option 1- Let the dough sit in the fridge for the rest of the day, then in the evening remove it and shape the buns. Cover them with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and let them rise overnight at room temperature. They can be baked fresh in the morning.
  2. Option 2- The dough can be refrigerated overnight instead. The next morning, let the cold dough sit for 10 or so minutes at room temperature, then the buns can be shaped, and risen until doubled ideally at around 25°C/77°F. This can take between 4- 8 hours depending on temperature. Bake them once they’re doubled.
Shaping The Buns
  1. Pull the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured bench and cut it into 9 or 12 even-sized pieces. Dust your hands with flour if needed and shape the pieces into balls, tucking in the bottom to create a smooth top. Place the balls, seam side down into a greased or parchment paper-lined dish, (I use a 23x23cm square, but you can also use a larger tray.) Let them rise until doubled.
Baking the Buns
    1. If these were to be cooked in an oven we would be looking to preheat to around 180 – 200 °C, so aim for around these temperatures with your Flare outdoor fireplace.
    2. Mix together the flour with enough water to make a thick paste, then add to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.  Pipe crosses over the buns.
    3. Place the buns into the oven and bake for around 25-27 minutes until a deep brown on the top. If the buns are browning too much, you can remove the lid off the dutch oven.
    4. While the buns are baking, mix together the glaze ingredients until the sugar dissolves. Bush the hot bun tops with the sugar glaze once they come from the oven.
    5. Leave the buns to cool for about 20 minutes before eating.
Golden Hot Cross Buns