Brown Butter, Chocolate & Pear Hot Cross Bun Recipe

29 March 2023

Brown Butter, Chocolate & Pear Hot Cross Buns BakedBrown Butter, Chocolate & Pear Hot Cross Buns Baked

Homemade hot cross buns are always more delicious. Try this indulgent twist on the Easterclassic to impress your guests or give as edible gifts. The rich toffee-like taste of brown butter pairs beautifully with sweet pear.

Serves: 4-6

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes



  • 30g Bread Flour
  • 130ml Full fat Milk


  • 70g Plain Flour
  • 70g Water


  • 100g Apricot Jam

Hot Cross Buns

  • 200g Unsalted Butter
  • 200ml Full-Fat Milk
  • 20g Caster Sugar
  • 8g Instant Yeast
  • 1tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 375g Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp Ground Cardamom
  • Small Pinch of Ground Cloves
  • 80g Dried Pears, roughly chopped
  • 80g Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 40g Plump Raisins


1. Begin with the brown butter. Add the butter to a small saucepan over a low heat and melt. Increase the heat and bubble until the bubbles begin to thicken and slow down. The butter will begin to smell of biscuits as the milk solids darken and turn brown. Quickly transfer to a cool bowl and set aside to firm up at room temperature.

2. For the tangzhong, whisk the milk and flour in a small pan and cook, whisking until you have a thick paste. Set aside.

To make the dough with a stand mixer:

  • Add the tangzhong, along with the milk, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low until combined and slightly cooled, then add the salt, egg, and bread flour, along with the cardamom and cloves.
  • Increase the speed to medium and knead for 12-15 minutes or until pliable and elastic. It will take a while so don’t be tempted to add extra flour or your buns will be tough.
  • Take 60g of your firm yet pliable brown butter and pinch off pieces with your fingers. Add whilst mixing, waiting until incorporated before adding any more.

To make the dough by hand:

  • Use a wooden spoon to mix the tangzhong with the milk, sugar and yeast in a bowl until homogeneous.
  • Use your hands to mix further to a scraggy dough, kneading until it comes together (5 minutes or so).
  • Turn onto a floured bench and knead for 12-15 minutes.
  • Finally, ‘slap and fold' in the butter until combined.

3. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and allow to prove until doubled in size. The time will depend on the ambient temperature of your kitchen.

4. Knock back the dough and add the dried fruit and chopped chocolate. Incorporate using your hands to gently knead.

5. Weigh the dough and divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each into a tight ball and arrange on a lightly greased Stellar Hard Anodised 30 x 20cm Roasting Tray. Cover lightly with a damp tea towel and allow to prove until doubled.

6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C and combine the plain flour for the crosses with the water to form a paste. Transfer to a piping bag.

7. Pipe the crosses over the buns and bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden and springy.

8. Allow the buns to cool for 10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack. Once completely cool, warm the apricot jam in a small pan and glaze liberally. Serve with the remaining brown butter.