Did you know that the government recommends we eat 30g of fibre a day? One way to do this easily is to up the intake of Whole Grain. I am a big fan of overindulging at breakfast time, when I do eat breakfast that is. When I came across this hot cross bun loaf, I just couldn’t resist it. It’s a great family friendly breakfast recipe too. It is really yummy with margarine at breakfast, or a nice dollop of Jam. Don’t forget the cup of tea too!

Rye Hot Cross Bun Loaf

Prep Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 12
Author Whole Grain



  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 90 ml 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water
  • 50 g 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 125 ml milk any kind
  • 1 large egg


  • 180 g 1 ½ cups wholemeal strong bread flour, plus more for kneading
  • 120 g 1 cup dark rye flour
  • 50 g 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • A 7g sachet 2 ¼ tsp instant active dried yeast*
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice**
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Zest of an orange
  • 90 g 3/4 cup raisins

Cross mixture

  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 to 2 tbsp water

Glaze (optional)

  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp water or orange juice from the orange you zested earlier


  • To make the paste: combine the plain flour and water, then pour into a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the mixture thickens into a paste. Take it off the heat then stir in the butter until melted and combined. Stir in the milk and then the egg until the mixture is smooth and leave to cool to room temp.
  • To make the dough: place the wholemeal strong bread and rye flours, sugar, salt, yeast, mixed spice and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir them together then make a well in the centre of these dry ingredients. Pour the paste mixture into the well then stir everything together to make a dough. Tip the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead for 6 to 8 minutes until smooth and slightly sticky, adding flour as needed. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover it with clingfilm. Leave it in a warm place for 2 hours or in the fridge for 12 hours. The dough should have doubled in size***.
  • After this resting period, add the orange zest and raisins to the bowl – fold and knead them into the dough. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll them into balls. Grease a 2lb loaf tin with some refined rapeseed oil (often labelled vegetable oil) and line the balls of dough up in the tin (2 rows of 4 dough balls). Cover the tin loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place for around 45 minutes to rise again.
  • Remove the clingfilm from the dough. Mix together the cross mixture (adding enough water to make a pipeable paste) and place into a sandwich bag with the very corner cut off. Pipe it in continuous lines across/along the rows of the dough, decorating each ball with a cross. Bake for 30-40 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 180°C until deep golden on top.
  • Meanwhile heat the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir and bring to the boil, cooking it until reduced by half. Remove from the heat.
  • Remove the baked bread from the tin and brush all over with the warm glaze. Leave to cool completely before slicing. The glazing of the loaf is completely optional but it helps add a bit of extra sweetness and makes it look even more amazing!


Cooking Tips
* The yeast I use doesn't need to be dissolved in water before use. If your yeast requires activation before use: warm the milk in the saucepan (before you make the paste) until just lukewarm, remove from the heat and then stir the yeast in. Set aside for 5 minutes until frothy then decant into a bowl and continue with the recipe as usual, adding the milk-yeast mixture to the paste in step 2.
** Mixed spice is a mixture of ground spices: cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg and allspice. For those of you in the US, pumpkin pie spice mix or apple pie spice mix will sub in well.
*** If you left the dough in the fridge for 12 hours and it didn’t double in size, remove from the fridge and leave in a warm place for an hour. This should help the dough rise.
I like to toast slices under the grill in the oven and then smear them with butter and lemon curd.
Store the loaf wrapped in baking paper in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature for 4 to 5 days.

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Recipe Rating

1 Comment
  • sharon martin
    Thursday, April 26, 2018

    yummy, this looks tasty