Traditional Hot Cross Buns Recipe with Dried Figs

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Celebrate Easter by baking this traditional hot cross buns recipe. Dried figs add a chewy sweet bite in the tender old fashioned hot cross buns recipe.
Celebrate Easter by baking this traditional hot cross buns recipe. Dried figs add a chewy sweet bite in the tender old fashioned hot cross buns recipe.

If you are not a big fan of raisins in a traditional hot cross buns recipe, then these Fig Hot Cross Buns are going to put a smile on your face. These slightly sweet buns are extremely soft, spiced with cinnamon and loaded with chopped Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs. Serve them for Easter or better yet serve them anytime you want delicious dinner rolls!

What are hot cross buns? 

Hot cross buns are yeasted sweet buns much like dinner rolls, often flavored with spices, and filled with dried fruits like currants or raisins, in this case, dried figs. Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, marking the end of Lent.

Celebrate Easter by baking this traditional hot cross buns recipe. Dried figs add a chewy sweet bite in the tender old fashioned hot cross buns recipe.

What is the cross in hot cross buns made of? 

The cross on top of these fig hot cross buns is made with flour and water. You could also use milk or fruit juices instead of water. Simply mix the flour with the liquid of your choice to form a soft paste, then pipe it on top of the buns just before baking.

Can I make them ahead of time? 

This old fashioned hot cross buns recipe is intended to be baked the same day—they taste the best then, especially when still warm. However, they will last 1 – 2 days at room temperature, up to a week in the refrigerator, and up to 3 months in the freezer. To reheat, just toast them in the oven for 5 minutes at 350°F. For frozen buns, thaw at room temperature before toasting.

Yeasted buns always take a little bit of time to prepare, but these Fig Hot Cross Buns are actually very easy to make. And truly, there is nothing better than a soft and delicious homemade dinner roll to complete your meal.

Traditional Hot Cross Buns Recipe with Figs

Celebrate Easter by baking this traditional hot cross buns recipe. Dried figs add a chewy sweet bite in the tender old fashioned hot cross buns recipe.
Celebrate Easter by baking this traditional hot cross buns recipe. Dried figs add a chewy sweet bite in the tender old fashioned hot cross buns recipe.
Nutrition
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 3 hours
Servings 12

Ingredients

Bread

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup warm water (no hotter than 110°F)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs
  • Extra flour for rolling
  • Oil or butter for bowl and baking pan

Cross

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5-6 tablespoons water

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, heat milk and ¼ cup of sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently until simmering. Turn off the heat and add butter to the hot milk, stir until completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool.
  • In the meantime, combine warm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast in a small bowl and let the yeast bloom for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Add flour, salt, and cinnamon to the stand mixer bowl and stir to distribute evenly. Toss in the chopped dried figs.
  • When the milk mixture is cooled to below 110°F and the yeast is bubbly, add them to the flour mixture. Knead with the dough hook for just a few minutes until the dough forms. 
  • Scrape the dough out onto a floured countertop and shape it into a ball. The dough will be soft and somewhat sticky, try not to add too much extra flour, just enough to keep it from sticking to your hands and the counter. Place the dough ball into an oiled glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 – 2 hours, until at least double in size.
  • Oil or butter a 9”x13” baking dish and set aside.
  • When the dough is ready, dump it out onto a floured countertop and divide it into 12 equal portions. Knead and shape each portion into a small ball, place dough balls into the prepared baking pan, and allow to rise the second time for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Beat an egg with a tablespoon of whole milk to make egg wash. Brush egg wash on top of the risen buns generously.
  • Mix flour and 5 – 6 tablespoon of water in a small bowl until a soft pipeable paste forms. Add the paste to a piping bag or a zip top bag and snip the corner to create a small hole. Pipe the flour paste on top of the buns in a cross pattern.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool to the touch on a wire rack. Best served slightly warm.

Notes

Note: Make sure any hot liquid you’re adding the yeast to doesn’t exceed 110°F. If it is too hot, you can kill the yeast and your bread won’t rise.
 
Photos and recipe by Trang Doan

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

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