Hot Cross Buns with American Pistachios

310 pieces @ 88 g (3 oz) each
Cross g/ml lbs./oz Baker's % Yield % Notes
Flour, pastry 1100 g 2 lbs 7 oz 100.00 % 47.41 %
Shortening 220 g 8 oz 20.00 % 9.48 %
Milk 1000 ml 2 lb 4 oz 90.91 % 43.10 %
Total 2320 g 5 lbs 3 oz 210.91 % 100.00%

Glaze g/ml lbs./oz Baker's % Yield % Notes
Water 500 ml 1 lb 2 oz 31.85 %
Sugar, granulated 1000 g 2 lbs 3 oz 63.69 %
Ginger, ground 10 g 5 tsp 0.64 %
Lemon, juice and rind 50 g 2 oz 3.18 %
Cream of tartar 10 g 1 1/4 tbsp 0.64 %
Total 1570 g 3 lbs 7 oz 100.00 %

Dough g/ml lbs./oz Baker's % Yield % Notes
Flour, bread 10000 g 22 lbs 1 oz 100.00 % 33.34 %
Water 5200 ml 11 lbs 8 oz 52.00 % 17.34 %
Shortening 1200 g 2 lb 10 oz 12.00 % 4.00 %
Sugar, granulated 1000 g 2 lbs 3 oz 10.00 % 3.33 %
Dough conditioner 100 g 4 oz 1.00 % 0.33 %
Milk, powder 500 g 1 lb 2 oz 5.00 % 1.67 %
Yeast, compressed 800 g 1 lb 12 oz 8.00 % 2.67 %
Salt, table 150 g 5 oz 1.50 % 0.50 %
Eggs, whole 1000 ml 2 lb 4 oz 10.00 % 3.33 %
Raisins, golden 3000 g 6 lb 10 oz 30.00 % 10.00 %
Raisins, dark 3000 g 6 lb 10 oz 30.00 % 10.00 %
Orange, peel 800 g 1 lb 12 oz 8.00 % 2.67 % candied
Vanilla, extract 40 ml 1 oz 0.40 % 0.13 %
Lemon, extract 20 ml 0.5 oz 0.20 % 0.07 %
Cardamom, ground 40 g 1 oz 0.4 % 0.13 %
Allspice, ground 200 g 7 oz 2.00 % 0.67 %
Cloves, ground 20 g 0.5 oz 0.20 % 0.07 %
Ginger, ground 100 g 4 oz 1.00 % 0.33 %
Cinnamon, ground 100 g 4 oz 1.00 % 0.33 %
American Pistachios 2700 g 5 lbs 15 oz 27.00 % 9.00 % roasted, chopped
Almond, extract 20 ml 0.5 oz 0.20 % 0.07 % bitter
Total 29990 g 66 lbs 1.5 oz 299.90 % 100.00%


• Raisins and candied orange peel should be conditioned (see “Notes”). It is best if they are prepared ahead and left overnight.

• Place all ingredients, except fruit and American Pistachios, in the mixer with a dough hook. Mix for 3 min. in 1st gear to incorporate. Be prepared to add additional water to yield dough of the proper consistency. Mix on 3rd gear for 7 min.

• Add the conditioned fruit and American Pistachios. Mix in 1st gear to incorporate (because of the conditioned fruits it will be necessary to add a dusting of bread flour to the dough to help the raisins incorporate easier). Remove dough, place on table that has been dusted with bread flour. Cover and rest for 30 min. Deflate dough, apply a 3-fold and let the dough rest an additional 15 min. Scale into 88 g (3 oz) portions. Shape into round the top should be as smooth as possible because appearance matters. and place seam side down on a prepared sheet pan in rows of 5 X 6. (Positioning is very important)

• Proof at low humidity 30-35°C (88-95° F) for approximately +- 50 minutes, or until doubled in size. Apply cross with a pastry bag pastry, working smoothly and quickly. Appearance counts!

• Bake at 190°C (375°F) for +/- 15 min (it may be necessary to rotate in oven for even color)

• Remove from oven and apply glaze while the buns are still hot! (Make sure to cover the entire bun with glaze, dry spots will be noticeable when the glaze dries).

• Raisins must be properly conditioned to increase their moisture content before addition to the dough, thus minimizing the moisture absorption from the bread dough. To avoid sugar loss from raisins the recommended method for conditioning raisins is to cover the raisins with 27°C (80°F) water and then drain immediately. There is no soaking time. The raisins are then left to stand for four hours before blending them into the dough. The last step allows the raisins to absorb any remaining moisture in the outer skin with no significant leaching of sugar solids.

Syrup: Combine the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil without stirring for about five minutes to form light syrup. Strain into a large bowl. Cool, then refrigerate until well chilled.

Cross: Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed until well combined and smooth. Scoop mixture into pastry bag fitted with the #10 tip. Apply cross dough to buns after proofing

• Hot Cross Buns are generally only served during the Lenten season, preserving their Christian significance. On the first day of Lent and during the six weeks that follow, many bakeries bake hot cross buns. Similar breads are found in many other countries. The Italian Tortona, for example, is a twist of dough baked around a colored egg.

• Hot cross buns have a mixed history, however and there are many legends surrounding them, below are a few of the more common.

• On Good Friday in 1361 it is recorded that Father Thomas Rockliffe distributed small spiced cakes marked with a cross, to the poor. After this, it became traditional to make and eat hot cross buns every Good Friday.

• It was once believed by many that hot cross buns had miraculous powers. People would hang them from their kitchen ceilings to protect their homes from evil and they were used in powdered form to treat all types of illnesses. It was also said that hot cross buns baked on Good Friday would never go moldy, although this was probably because the buns were baked so hard that there was no moisture left in the mixture for the mold to live on.

• Some say that the tradition of hot cross buns dates back to pagan times, when the cross represented the moon and its four quarters. These ancient pagan sacramental cakes eaten by Anglo-Saxons in honor of their goddess “Eastore”. Supposedly, when the Romans arrived in Britain, the early clergy tried to stop the use of the sacramental cakes but as they could not, they gave them Christian meaning by blessing them and decorating them with the sign of the cross.

• Another story, of the hot cross bun, dates back to England over one hundred and fifty years ago. A widow who lived in the East End of London, so the story goes, was expecting her son to come home from sea. On Good Friday, she saved a bun for him but he never returned. It is said that patrons of inns in England still follow this custom in her honor.

And of course there is the nursery rhyme that has been sung by children for over a hundred years.

Hot Cross Buns! Hot Cross Buns!
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot Cross Buns!
If you have no daughters,
Pray give them to your sons!
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!