Rye Hot Cross Bun Loaf

Rye Hot Cross Bun Loaf

by Izy Hossack

This hot cross bun loaf from Izy Hossack uses a blend of wholemeal wheat and rye flour to create a rich and wholesome dough, high in fibre, packed with flavour and with a deliciously light texture thanks to the tangzhong method. It's wonderful eaten fresh or cut into slices and toasted the next day.

At Hodmedod we only sell wholemeal flour. Not only is it more nutritious and flavourful, but it's less wasteful than white roller-milled flour. However, achieving a fluffy open crumb without the help of white flour can be a tricky business, especially when it comes to enriched dough. We love this recipe from Izy Hassak, where she uses the tangzhong method to achieve a pillow-soft loaf with only wholemeal wheat and rye flour!

The tangzhong method starts the loaf off with a simple flour-water mixture heated together to make a kind of roux. This means the dough contains some pre-gelatinised starch before baking, helping to lock in extra moisture in and achieve a lighter crumb.

Makes 1 large loaf


  • 180g Wholemeal Flour
  • 120g Rye Flour
  • 50g Sugar
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 7g Instant Dried Yeast
  • 1tbsp Mixed Spice
  • 1tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Orange, zested
  • 90g Raisins
Cross Mixture
  • 2tbsp Plain Flour
  • 1 to 2 tbsp Water
Glaze (optional)
  • 1tbsp Sugar
  • 2tbsp Water or Orange Juice


Make the paste:
  1. 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 and leave to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Stir in the milk and then the egg until the mixture is smooth and leave to cool to room temp.
Make the dough:
  1. Place the wholemeal 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. After this resting period, add the orange zest and raisins to the bowl – fold and knead them into the dough.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll them into balls.
  6. Grease a 2lb loaf tin with some rapeseed 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes in an oven preheated to 180 C until deep golden on top.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

Izy Hossack
Izy Hossack


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