I think it’s mandatory that hot cross buns get toasted unless they come straight out the oven, so turning the dough into a loaf is far more practical. Most toasters are not wide enough to take half a cut hot cross bun, and they tend to get stuck in all the metal bits and the raisins drop out which later burn. In 2015 I made what I am sure are the perfect hot cross buns with stout so decided not to reinvent the wheel here. Why mess with perfection? There is enough dough to make 2 medium loaves or one loaf and 8 hot cross buns. This way you get the best of both worlds and what I did. As I live alone, I sliced up the loaf and stored it in my freezer to be toasted off whenever I need my fruit bread fix.

Stout hot cross bun bread recipe

The buns take a while to make in that you start the prep the day before, but the process is pretty effortless. They are made by hand with very little kneading involved. I’ve changed the original recipe slightly by soaking the fruit in Earl Grey tea vs strong black tea. The bergamot just gives another subtle layer of flavour and I’ve upped the spice ratios a smidge. I like my hot cross buns fairly spicy. Because I’m a food stylist, I decided to make a citrus-infused glaze to drizzle over the top. This make the loaf a little prettier but is totally optional.

If I’m not eating them straight out the oven, I love to toast them. Always served with lashings of butter melting right into the core of them.

Stout hot cross bun bread & bun recipe

Stout hot cross bun bread & bun recipe

Stout hot cross bun bread & bun recipe

Stout hot cross bun bread & bun recipe

Stout hot cross bun bread & bun recipe

This recipe makes 1 medium loaf and 8 hot cross buns, or 2 medium loaves, or 16 – 18 hot cross buns. Any excess can be frozen. I like to use a mix of raisins and cranberries, but you could use all of one or the other.

Hot cross bun loaf/bun recipe

Print

Stout hot cross bun bread

Stout hot cross bun bread recipe

A delicious fruit bread recipe that is a hot cross bun in a loaf

  • Author: Sam Linsell
Scale

Ingredients

340ml stout

2 tsp instant dry yeast

2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/1/2 tsp ground ginger

11/2 tsp mixed spice

870g flour (divided)

100g citrus peel

150g raisins

150g dried cranberries

100g soft dried apricots, finely chopped

250ml strong black Earl Grey tea or Ceylon

1 large free-range egg

50g melted butter

50g caster sugar (plus extra for glaze)

1 ½ tsp salt

Glaze for the loaf (optional)

1/2 cup of icing sugar

Zest of half an orange or clementine and some of the juice

Instructions

Prepare the mix the night before by mixing the stout, spices, yeast and 320g of the flour in a large bowl. Mix to combine everything and leave covered overnight.

Brew a strong cup of Earl Grey tea in 250ml boiling water and pour this over the raisins, dried cranberries, peel and apricots in a separate bowl. Leave this overnight.

The following day, mix the egg and melted butter with the fruit, and then stir this into the beer and spice batter. Add the remaining 550g flour, sugar and salt. Tip this onto a work surface and briefly knead to form a large ball. Leave for 10 minutes. Lightly oil your hands and knead the dough for 10 seconds, leave for 10 minutes, then repeat twice more at 10-minute intervals, then leave for an hour covered with a tea towel in a warm spot. You knead it for a total of 4 times.

Using a bread cutter or sharp knife, divide the dough in half. Either make one or 2 loaves with this or divide the other half of the dough (or all the dough) into 100g pieces (use a scale to make this easier and to achieve consistency) and shape them into balls. Arrange these on a large baking tray lined with baking paper so they are just touching each other. Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm spot for 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven before the proving has finished. If you are making buns, mix a little flour with water to form a runny paste consistency (use an electric whisk to get this smooth if necessary). Place in a plastic piping bag and cut a very small edge off the tip. Pipe crosses on each ball of dough.

Bake at 200C (180C fan-assisted) for 25 minutes for buns and about 35 minutes for the loaf. Loosely cover the loaf and buns with a sheet of tin foil to prevent over-browning. Mix 2 tablespoons of castor sugar with 2 tablespoons of water and brush this over the hot cross buns and loaf as they come out the oven. Serve with lashings of butter.

To make the glaze for the loaf (optional)

Mix the zest and icing sugar and add the juice bit by bit until you have a thick but slightly runny consistency. This just finishes off the loaf beautifully but is totally optional. 

 

Stout hot cross bun bread & bun recipe

A few more delicious bread recipes:

Possibly the best banana bread ever

Easy cheese & onion bread with herbs

Easy cheese & onion bread with red pepper pesto

Irish soda bread with rosemary & onion

 

 

Find me on Instagram

 

 

14 Comments

  1. What can I substitute for the Stout … non-alcoholic please

  2. What a wonderful recipe this sounds. The baking aromas must be so enticing. And unfortunately I will have to save this recipe until I can buy Yeast and enough flour to indulge in these. We are in lockdown for the next few weeks or more.
    I think a loaf is the perfect thing to make because it locks in the flavour and stays nicely fresh and is wonderful for toast. Also with it sliced and frozen there is always a lovely spicy slice waiting to be eaten for breakfast anytime. And I find the buns can go a bit dry by the next day.
    Thanks for this lovely recipe. :))

  3. Sam

    HI Veronic, I’m afraid I don’t have a substitute for the stout other than beer and 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder. My suggestion would be to find another recipe for hot cross buns on the internet and then make it into a loaf. Sorry

  4. Juan van Deventer

    One could perhaps substitute with a mixture of malt extract and coffee or caramel ? , but such a lovely recipe would be sacrilege to change it in my book

  5. Sam

    I think it needs the fizziness of the beer as part of the raising agent. I’m unsure as I have not tested it with any other liquid. I would say if people cant get hold of stout or beer + cocoa then they should rather look for another recipe on the internet that better suits them

  6. Thanks Sam. I’ll look for another recipe. Your photography had made this one look so luscious !

  7. Sam

    I haven’t tested it with ginger beer so I don’t know sorry, but it could work although it might be quite sweet

  8. Terry Ncube

    Hi Sam. I’m a massive fan of your work from Cape Town. I hope you’re well. ?
    I wanted to ask you 2 quick questions about the hot crossed loaf… You mentioned using beer and Cocoa powder as a substitute for stout… That work? And also, when adding the fruit that has steeped in tea to the mix, I’m assuming you don’t add the tea.
    Thank you for a GREAT recipe!

  9. Terry Ncube

    Hi Sam. I’m a massive fan of your work from Cape Town. I hope you’re well. ?
    I wanted to ask you 2 quick questions about the hot crossed loaf… You mentioned using beer and Cocoa powder as a substitute for stout… That work? And also, when adding the fruit that has steeped in tea to the mix, I’m assuming you don’t add the tea.
    Thank you for a GREAT recipe!

  10. Terry Ncube

    Hi Sam. I’m a massive fan of your work from Cape Town. I hope you’re well. I wanted to ask you 2 quick questions about the hot crossed loaf… You mentioned using beer and Cocoa powder as a substitute for stout… That work? And also, when adding the fruit that has steeped in tea to the mix, I’m assuming you don’t add the tea.Thank you for a GREAT recipe!

  11. Sam

    Hi Terry and thanks so much. The beer and cocoa powder will work. The tea is added into the mix and forms part of the recipe. You will see once the fruit has soaked overnight there. isnt that much. Enjoy

Leave a Reply