Ginger & Rye Hot Cross Bun Loaf

Rye Hot Cross Bun
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A twist on British Easter classic Hot Cross Bun! Made with whole wheat and rye, spiced with cinnamon and mixed spice, and stem ginger in addition to all the lovely dried fruit, this Rye Hot Cross Bun Loaf is a brilliant Easter breakfast treat! Eat it fresh out of the oven or toast it and slather in salted butter! Or maybe just a drizzle of honey…

It’s only been a year since I started experimenting with rye flour in my kitchen. Not sure why I always found rye quite daunting. Possibly because I rarely like rye bread – I find it too dense and stodgy – and probably because I never really cooked with it.

My fear of rye is changing rapidly and I am finding that adding rye up to half of the total flour quantity actually doesn’t affect the texture of the bake. And oh my, does it do wanders for the depth of flavour!

This time, I’ve been preparing for Easter thinking about ways to incorporate rye into my Easter bakes. I’ll be honest, my heart is set on my Sourdough Hot Cross Buns and I had to come up with something slightly different. What resulted was a hot-cross bun inspired spiced Easter bread loaf. Soft and almost brioche-like in texture, spiced with all the traditional hot-cross bun spices, and with the addition of ginger heat, this loaf was an instant hit with Seb! We ate it in 2 days (well… more like a day and a half) with half a pack of salted butter (!?).


Step-by-Step Recipe for Ginger & Rye Hot Cross Bun Loaf?

Make the Tangzhong:

In a small saucepan, combine plain flour and water. Heat over medium heat, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens into a paste. Take it off the heat and stir in the butter. Leave the mixture to cool down until just warm.

Lastly, beat in the milk. The mixture should be smooth and have no lumps in it. Leave it to cool down completely at room temperature.

Make the Dough:

Mix the strong and rye flours, sugar, salt, yeast, mixed spice, ginger and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour the tangzhong mixture you made before into the well. Crack in the egg. Stir everything together to make a rough dough.

You can now tip the dough onto a kitchen surface lightly dusted with flour and knead by hand for approx. 10 minutes (but be prepared for a sticky dough). Alternatively, knead it in a stand mixer (we use and LOVE Kenwood) with a dough hook attachment. The kneaded dough should feel soft and elastic.

Transfer the ball of dough into a clean bowl and cover with clingfilm or a tea towel. Leave it in a warm spot for 2-2.5 hours or until it doubles in size.

Once your dough doubles, knead in the orange zest, sultanas and stem ginger.

Divide the dough into 10 even pieces and roll them into tight balls.

Line a 1.8l (2lbs) loaf tin with some baking parchment. Snuggly place the balls of dough in the tin. Cover the tin with clingfilm (Kirkland Signature is by far the best one we’ve ever used and the 400m pack lasts ages) or a damp tea towel and leave in a warm spot to prove again for 1-2 hour (it should grow by about 70%).

Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Once the buns have proved for the second time, prepare the paste for the crosses. Simply mix flour and water to make a paste of a pipeable consistency (if you don’t have a small piping bag, use a zip lock bag with a cut corner or make your own using a sheet of baking parchment). Pipe the mixture in continuous lines along and across the rows of the dough balls.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until deep golden.

Whilst the hot cross bun loaf is baking, make the glaze by mixing orange juice, ginger syrup and sugar in a small saucepan and heating over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to bring to the boil and cook until it reaches syruy consistency, then remove from heat immediately.

Once baked, take the baked loaf out of the tin. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm glaze all over. Leave to cool completely before slicing. Enjoy slathered with butter!


If you’re looking for other ideas for your festive Easter bakes, have a look at some of our favourites below:

Rye Hot Cross Bun

Ginger & Rye Hot Cross Bun Loaf

A twist on British Easter classic Hot Cross Bun! Made with whole wheat and rye, spiced with cinnamon, mixed spice, and ginger in addition to all the lovely dried fruit, this Rye Hot Cross Bun Loaf is a brilliant Easter breakfast treat! Eat it fresh out of the oven or toast it and slather in salted butter! Or maybe just a drizzle of honey…
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Proving Time: 3 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs
Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine British, Easter
Servings 15 slices
Calories 172 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the Tangzhong:

  • 30 g plain flour
  • 90 ml water
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 120 ml milk

For the Dough:

  • 200 g wholemeal bread flour
  • 120 g rye flour we used medium
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7 g instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • tsp ground ginger
  • 1 egg large
  • 1 orange zest only
  • 90 g sultanas
  • 50 g stem ginger

For the Crosses:

  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • tbsp water

For Sugar Glaze:

  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp ginger syrup from stem ginger jar

Instructions
 

Make the Tangzhong:

  • In a small saucepan, combine plain flour and water. Heat over medium heat, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens into a paste. Take it off the heat and stir in the butter. Leave the mixture to cool down until just warm.
  • Lastly, beat in the milk. The mixture should be smooth and have no lumps in it. Leave it to cool down completely at room temperature.

Make the Dough:

  • Mix the strong and rye flours, sugar, salt, yeast, mixed spice, ginger and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour the tangzhong mixture you made before into the well. Crack in the egg. Stir everything together to make a rough dough.
  • You can now tip the dough onto a kitchen surface lightly dusted with flour and knead by hand for approx. 10 minutes (but be prepared for a sticky dough). Alternatively, knead it in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. The kneaded dough should feel soft and elastic.
  • Transfer the ball of dough into a clean bowl and cover with clingfilm or a tea towel. Leave it in a warm spot for 2-2.5 hours or until it doubles in size.
  • Once your dough doubles, knead in the orange zest, sultanas and stem ginger. See tips above on how to distribute them evenly.
  • Divide the dough into 10 even pieces and roll them into tight balls.
  • Line a loaf tin with some baking parchment. Snuggly place the balls of dough in the tin. Cover the tin with clingfilm or a damp tea towel and leave in a warm spot to prove again for 1-2 hour (it should grow by about 70%).
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Once the buns have proved for the second time, prepare the paste for the crosses. Simply mix flour and water to make a paste of a pipeable consistency. (if you don't have a small piping bag, use a zip lock bag with a cut corner or make your own using a sheet of baking parchment). Pipe the mixture in continuous lines along and across the rows of the dough balls.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until deep golden.
  • Whilst the hot cross bun loaf is baking, make the glaze by mixing orange juice, ginger syrup and sugar in a small saucepan and heating over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to bring to the boil and cook until it reaches syruy consistency, then remove from heat immediately.
  • Once baked, take the baked loaf out of the tin. Brush the warm glaze all over. Leave to cool completely before slicing. Enjoy slathered with butter!

Nutrition

Calories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 166mgPotassium: 177mgFiber: 3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 140IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
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Rye Hot Cross Bun

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