Sourdough Hot Cross Buns


Like the other hot cross bun recipes available on this website I designed this recipe so that the buns can be eaten hot. Unlike a lot of the other bread recipes made with Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour you can cut into this bread when it is hot, steaming in fact. This is how it should be served - don't let it cool down too much. The buns are at their best when they are hot/warm. It is wonderful when the bread is sliced hot, the butter starts melting on it & you can smell the spices. Delicious!

The following recipe contains eggs & dairy, I do have another sourdough hot cross bun recipe that is dairy & egg free (Sourdough Vegan Hot Cross Buns). 

This recipe was designed specifically to be made with Bakers' Magic gluten free flour. The finished baked product will not be the same if you use another gluten free flour and you will need to adjust the recipe, particularly if the flour you're using contains rice flour. 


Sourdough Starter

50 g of previous days leaven

50 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

100 g Lukewarm water

~1.5 tsp Sugar (of some type)


50 - 70 g Roasted sweet potato


sugar + sweet potato - I usually add both

The remaining 150 g of the previous days leaven I either use to make bread (below) or put it on the humus heap.

I'm not gentle when it comes to mixing the starter - I find the easiest way to mix is with a stab blender. It's quick & gets the lumps out.

Sugar - your starter will need a sugar source (the simplest one is glucose powder). Sugar comes in various forms for example grated apple, roasted pumpkin, roasted sweet potato, honey or simpler versions table sugar, raw sugar, molasses. We want to add the Goldilocks amount of sugar to our culture. Too little you will starve your starter, too much & you will kill it, just the right amount & your starter will grow happily. 

Adding the Goldilocks amount of sugar - Unfortunately I can't say what that amount is for your culture. For Arthur, my starter/leaven/culture, I know I haven't added enough food when I let the starter grow for ~6 hours (it has doubled in size) I swirl it back down & it doesn't grow again. 

Roasted sweet potato - I usually bake it whole for 1 - 1.5 hours (depending on the size). I blend it with a food processor & freeze it in ice cube trays. Two of my roasted sweet potato ice cubes weigh ~70 g. I've fed my culture on one ice cube of sweet potato however the culture is not as active. The water content of the roasted sweet potato will vary & may affect the final shape of your loaf.   



Bun mix

350 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

100 g Maize starch

14 g Psyllium powder

150 g Leaven/sourdough starter

40 g Brown sugar

 6 g (~2 tsp) Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Allspice

1/2 tsp Mixed spice

2 tsp Salt

180 g Sultanas

400 g Warm water

1 Egg (at room temperature)

65 g Butter(softened)

Extra Oil

 The butter can be substituted with oil (50 g). The salt may need to be increased to 12 g.



25 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

10 g Maize starch

10 g Caster sugar

50 - 60 g Water


20 g Caster sugar

20 g Boiling water



Are you going to proof the dough in your oven or in another warm spot? If proofing in your oven turn oven to ~50 C for approximately 10 mins then turn it off again.

Depending on how you will bake the buns, oil the tin(s), muffin tray, slice tray etc.

Place all ingredients (excluding the sultanas) into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. 

Combine ingredients using the flat beater until a uniform consistency is achieved. You may need to stop the mixer and scrap down the sides. This make take longer than 5 mins. When the dough is smooth mix in the sultanas.

The dough is ready for proofing & putting on the stripe.

Transfer dough to a slightly oiled work surface (I use non-stick paper or my kitchen bench). Put a bit of the extra oil on your hands - it helps to keep the dough from sticking to you when you are dividing & shaping it. Divide the dough into 15 equal portions - they will be ~88 g each. I wanted the buns to be approximately the same size (photographic reasons) so I oiled a bowl & weighed out the individual buns. I shaped the dough into buns by transferring it quickly from oiled hand to oiled hand & then put it onto a greased roasting dish (Base dimensions 28 x 18 cm) in a 3 x 5 configuration. I have also 7 buns into two 20 cm round cake tins.

Mix together the ingredients for the stripe. I use a stab blender (Bamix). Transfer mixture to a small plastic bag or piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle. If the mixture is in a plastic bag push the mixture down to one corner. Snip off a little of the corner so that the mixture can be pushed out in a thin stream.

Put stripes along the buns lengthwise & then across each pair of buns.

Let the dough proof for in a warm moist environment. The amount of time will depend on how active your leaven/sourdough starter is (mine take ~4 hours). Spray water over the tops of the buns periodically to ensure they don't dry out during the proofing stage. 

Before putting it in the oven ensure that the dough has risen ~1.5 X. I usually wait to see the buns pressing against each other, at this stage there are still gaps between them. 

Turn your oven on to 200 C.

Bake at 200 C for ~30 mins. If your oven has a hot spot turn the bread halfway through baking.

Prepare the glaze by dissolving the sugar in boiling water. It may need to be stirred a little. 

Take the buns out of the oven, remove them from the tin & put them on a cooling rack. Use a pastry brush to coat the tops of the buns/loaf with the glaze. 

Get the butter & knife ready. Simply enjoy!