Rye Hot Cross Bun Loaf Recipe

Created by Izy Hossack, author of 'Top with Cinnamon' food blog

  • Whole Grain Goodness

    Prep Time

    2 hours 25 mins

  • Whole Grain Goodness

    Cook Time

    40 mins

  • Whole Grain Goodness



  • Whole Grain Goodness

    Cost Per Serving


Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories192 kcal


    Calories are a measure of the amount of energy in food and drink. Your weight depends on the balance between how much energy you consume and how much energy you use up. If you eat or drink more than you use you can gain weight. If you don’t eat enough you can lose it.

  • Fat5g


    Your body wouldn’t function without fat. Fat is an essential part of a healthy balanced diet. It provides fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. But as fat is a rich source of energy (calories), it can easily contribute to weight gain.

  • Saturates2.7g


    On average as a nation it seems we’re consuming too much saturated fat. Eating too much can increase your cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

  • Carbs34.4g


    Starchy foods like bread, breakfast cereals or potatoes are a good source of carbohydrate and should make up just over a third of the food you eat. When eaten, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is used to fuel cells in your body like brain and muscle cells. Some people think starchy carbohydrates are fattening, but gram for gram it contains less than half the calories of fat. Choose whole grain or high fibre varieties where you can as they often contain more nutrients.

  • Sugars12.4g


    On average in the UK we eat too much sugar. Foods and drinks high in sugars are not needed in the diet. So if you have them, make sure they're infrequent and in small amounts, or you risk tooth decay or obesity.

  • Fibre3.8g


    Fibre is classed as a carbohydrate and you should aim to eat 30g fibre each day. Eating plenty of fibre is good for your digestive health and is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

  • Protein4.9g


    All cells and tissues contain protein, so it’s essential for growth, repair and good health. Protein from animal sources such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products contain all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) needed by the body. If you're vegetarian or vegan, you can get the protein you need through eating a variety of different plant sources such as pulses, nuts and cereals.

  • Salt0.5g


    A small amount of salt is needed in your diet but too much can raise your blood pressure, which increases risk of health problems such as heart disease and stroke. Adults shouldn’t eat more than about 1 teaspoon (6g) per day – and that includes salt already in the foods you eat, not just the salt you add, so check nutrition labels on food packs.

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Whole Grain Goodness


  • Paste:
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 90ml (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) water
  • 50g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 125ml milk, any kind
  • 1 large egg
  • Dough:
  • 180g (1 ½ cups) wholemeal strong bread flour, plus more for kneading
  • 120g (1 cup) dark rye flour
  • 50g (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
  • 90g (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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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***.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Izy uses 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.
  • Izy likes 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.

Whole Grain GoodnessLeave a tip or review

"Where can you get wholemeal bread flour? What are some good brands?"

Della Bautista | 18th October 2016

    "As a public body, we can't recommend any brands (like the BBC!) - I'm terribly sorry. Search engines like Google or Bing will help you."

    Donna Neary, Whole Grain Goodness | 20th October 2016

Whole Grain Goodness