Minimum rest time before baking: 6-8 hours

This is a French variation on an Easter classic: the hot cross bun. The recipe for the dough is the recipe of traditional buttery French brioche. It is a yeast bread and the dough needs time to rise and rest, please plan ahead before you make this recipe. It is best if you start the day before and leave it overnight in the fridge before baking.

We recommend using a stand mixer with the hook attachment to knead the dough.

To keep your buns, freezing is the best way to keep them fresh. You can then let them thaw at room temperature and toast them before serving.

For this recipe you need soft chunks butter.  You can leave it on the counter for an hour to come to room temperature or use a microwave but be careful, you want your butter to be soft not melted.

In the mixer bowl with the hook, mix together the flour, yeast, cinnamon and sugar for about 30 seconds.

Add the eggs, milk, orange blossom water (or vanilla) and raisins or currants, then let the mixer knead for 5 minutes.

Add the soft butter (not all at once, do it in 2 or 3 times), then let the mixer knead until the butter has been fully mixed into the dough and the dough starts to detach from the sides of the bowl (can take 10-15 minutes or more).

Leave the dough in the mixer bowl or transfer to a larger bowl and cover to preserve moisture (you can use a damp cloth), and let it rise for about 90 minutes at room temperature.

Then wrap it and put in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 to 8 hours.

The next day, take the dough out of the fridge, and form the buns that you place on a tray lined with parchment paper or in moulds (don't fill more than 1/2 of the mould).

Let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size or to speed things up you can place your brioches in the oven (turned off) with a bowl of very hot water. Don't forget to take them out before you turn on your oven for the baking part! This proofing step can take over an hour depending on the conditions (outside temperature, humidity).

Brush with eggwash (one egg + 2 tbsp water) and bake for 15-16 minutes at 180°C / 350°F. When it's ready the buns will have a nice golden color and you will smell the scent coming out of the oven. Smell is a surefire proof that the brioche is ready but to double-check you can insert a knife at the center of the bun and if it comes out dry, it's ok.

Let cool down and serve with butter or jam.