Spelt Hot Cross Bun Loaf

Makes 1 loaf

A dough enriched with butter, eggs and dried fruits are used to make this wonderful Easter centrepiece.  It is delicious spread with dairy butter. This loaf can be made in advance of the big day and frozen.

Free from Soya, Nuts


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Fruit Bun Starter

  1. Measure out and melt the butter.
  2. Put the spelt flour, quick yeast, sugar and mixed spice into a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Break the egg into the bowl, add the milk and mix everything together well.
  4. Stir in the melted butter and salt without over mixing.
  5. Cover with an upturned bowl and leave overnight.

Hot Cross Bun Loaf

  1. Rub some butter around the inside of a 1kg/2lb bread tin.
  2. Grate the orange rind into the bowl.
  3. Add the sultanas and glacé peel and stir to make a sticky dough.
  4. Gather together the dough and knead it briskly in the bowl for 100 presses, it will become less sticky.
  5. Dust the work surface with flour, put the dough in the middle and lightly dust the top.
  6. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each into a ball.
  7. Arrange the dough balls, in two rows of four, in the bread tin.
  8. Cover the tin with an upturned bowl and leave in a warm place for the dough to rise, about an hour.
  9. Pre-heat the oven.

Hot Cross Bun Topping

  1. For the cross topping, put the flour into a bowl, add the water and stir to make a paste.
  2. Using a teaspoon, pastry brush or piping bag, dribble or paint a cross onto each bun with the paste.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes.
  4. Remove the loaf from the oven, and carefully brush the top of the dough with egg yolk.
  5. Return the loaf to the oven for 5 minutes.
  6. Take the loaf out of the oven, turn it out and leave to cool on a wire rack.


kitchen mixer, 1kg/2lb bread tin, pastry brush or piping bag and mixing bowl


180°C, Fan 160°C, 350°F, Gas 4

Cooking time

35-40 minutes plus overnight for proving
I made this with wholemeal spelt flour and substituted the candied peel for extra sultanas. It was easy to make and tasted delicious. The orange zest really adds to the flavour. I was a bit worried because the dough didn't seem to be rising in the tin until the final few minutes of proving when it leapt into action and all was well!
By Alexandra
03 Apr 2021
Made a Hot Cross Bun Loaf using the ingredients listed. Very easy, gorgeous smell and taste. Thank you
By Maggie
03 Mar 2021
Followed this recipe but with whole meal spelt flour (all we had in the cupboard due to lockdown!) and made hot cross buns instead of the loaf - delicious! I did increase the baking temperature to 180c fan and baking time was about 15mins...well worth a try
By Zoe
10 Apr 2020

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