Bay Hot Cross Buns

Makes about 36 buns

1 cup milk
3 large bay leaves, preferably fresh
1/4 cup light honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
About 8 cups unbleached white flour
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 egg white


Scald the milk with 3 of the bay leaves. Remove it from the heat and dissolve the honey in it.

Soak the raisins in 2 cups of the warm water for 15 minutes, then drain and squeeze the excess water from them. Discard the soaking water.

Dissolve the yeast in the remaining 1/2 cup warm water.

Sift 8 cups of flour into a large bowl.

Beat the eggs lightly and add them, along with the salt and 1/2 cup water, to the milk and honey.

When the yeast is active, add it to the flour along with the milk mixture, melted butter, and raisins. Stir the liquid with a wooden spoon to incorporate about half of the flour. Remove the dough to a smooth surface and knead in the rest of the flour. Knead for about 5 minutes after the flour has been incorporated. The dough should be smooth and soft but not sticky. Knead in more flour if necessary.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight, or for up to 24 hours. Or let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Punch the dough down and divide it in half. Remove the bay leaves as you come across them. Roll each portion into a long cylinder about 3 inches in diameter.

Cut the cylinders into 1-inch slices and roll each slice into a ball. Place the balls on lightly buttered baking sheets. Cover the balls with a tea towel and let them rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375 º F.

Slash the top of each bun in a cross-shape with a sharp knife. Beat the egg white until frothy and brush each bun lightly with it.

Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown. Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. Drizzle them with Simple Icing along the slash marks if desired.



Makes about 1/2 cup of icing

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle the icing over the cooled Bay Hot Cross Buns, or other sweet rolls, or cookies.

  • Recipe ©2009 Susan Belsinger


From the Full Moon Native recipe files