Sourdough rosemary, manchego + sea salt hot cross buns




Hotcross buns, traditionally a sweet, spiced and dried fruit studded bun, decorated with a cross and brushed with a sweet glaze are traditionally eaten across the world over Easter.

My version has the addition of a sourdough starter to give them a little more chew and that quintessential ‘sour flavour. And because I sometimes like my sweets a little savoury, I have added rosemary and finely grated Spanish manchego cheese.

There is a mixture of both yeast and sourdough starter in this recipe, as I find that by adding both you get the best of both worlds!

Don’t worry if you don’t have a sourdough starter 
at home. I have given a tip at the bottom of the recipe for a regular yeast version.  

enjoy these buns hot with butter, or served with sliced
manchego + quince paste
1 cup (250ml) milk, warmed
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
60g salted butter, melted
1 cup (250ml) apple juice
½ tsp (3gm) dried yeast
100g sourdough starter, fed and stirred
1 egg
1/3 cup dried currants
¼ cup rosemary
5 1/3 cups (800g) 00 flour
10g fine table salt
100g finely grated manchego cheese
1 tsp sea salt flakes
FLOUR PASTE
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) cold water
GLAZE
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon powdered gelatine
1 tablespoon water


1.Place milk, honey, oil and butter together in a bowl and mix to combine.
2. Whisk the juice, yeast and sourdough starter in a large bowl until dissolved. Add the egg, currants and rosemary. Add the flour, then milk mixture; using your hand, mix together until combined. Cover with plastic wrap; stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.  
3. Add the salt and pinch the dough for 3-4 minutes or until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. Add the manchego and lightly knead dough on a lightly oiled or floured surface for 10 seconds. Return to bowl, cover; and rest for 30 minutes.
4. Divide the dough into 16 and shape into balls. Place in a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover again stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen by half. (at this stage you can refrigerate your dough to slowly prove for a further 12 hours. This will give you a more ‘sour’ flavour.)
5. Preheat oven to 200°C fan forced.
6. To make the flour paste, combine the flour and sugar in a small bowl. Gradually mix in enough water to make a smooth paste. Place flour paste mixture into a small piping bag fitted with a small plain tube. Pipe crosses onto the buns.
7. Bake buns for 25 minutes or until buns are browned and sound hollow when tapped.
8. While the buns are backing make the glaze. Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan; stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar and gelatine dissolve.
9. While hot, brush the buns with the glaze and sprinkle with salt.


NOTE: If you don’t have a sourdough starter, double the amount of yeast in the recipe (7g total).

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