Molasses Hot Cross Buns

Servings: 12 serving(s)

Prep time: 100 minutes

Total time: 135 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

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molasses hot cross buns

Molasses adds a lovely flavour to hot cross buns. It helps to keep the buns moist & is the perfect complement to cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves, the traditional spices for this seasonal treat. 

Hot Cross Buns have been a Good Friday treat for as long as I can remember and they’re the bun I look forward to more than any other seasonal bread.  The dough and spicing are delicious but like all great seasonal food, the pleasure is as much in the tradition as the taste.

That’s the magic, for me anyway.

We eat them fresh, on the day they’re made, and that’s it for another year.

molasses hot cross buns

Everyone has their favourite Hot Cross Bun recipe I suppose, but I have a couple of favourites so this year I combined them into one with the help of a third recipe to create a new recipe for molasses hot cross buns.

(All that to say, there is no shortage of recipes for hot Cross Buns out there.)

The recipe that I grew up with is from The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook

It’s the spicing in that recipe that I love so much.

molasses hot cross buns

I’m partial to molasses in my Hot Cross Buns too. Molasses adds lovely flavour, helps to keep the buns moist and is perfect with the spicing. We have a delicious molasses Hot Cross Bun recipe on this site, but I was in search of a bun with a little lighter texture then my other recipes and one that made a full dozen buns.

For that I turned to Rock Recipes and the ever reliable Barry Parsons for some inspiration. He has an excellent Hot Cross Bun recipe on his site.

From these three trusty sources comes this recipe for wholesome Molasses Hot Cross Buns

Always best eaten on the day they’re made.

molasses hot cross buns

Molasses Hot Cross Bun Recipe

Makes 12 buns

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 pkg. dry yeast (1 Tbsp.)
  • ¼ cup. soft butter
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. water

Directions:

  1. Heat milk to lukewarm in a saucepan, remove from heat, pour into a large bowl and add 1 tsp. sugar & yeast.
  2. In another bowl combine the flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, salt and spices.
  3. Add butter to milk mixture then molasses. Whisk in egg and egg white.
  4. Add about ¾ of flour mixture to milk mixture and stir until combined.
  5. Scrape dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead in remaining flour mixture then currants. Knead for 5-10 minutes, adding additional flour as required. (Take care not to add too much extra flour).
  6. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with a clean dish towel and let rise until double (about 1 1/2 hours).
  7. Punch down, let rest for 5 minutes then divide dough into 12 balls. (pull the top of each ball down and pinch to seal.)
  8. Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper and arrange dough balls in the pan so they’re evenly spaced.
  9. Cover and let rise until double.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 F
  11. Just before baking whisk egg yolk and water and gently brush on tops of buns.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Icing:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 ½-2 Tbsp. milk

Beat together and pipe on cooled buns in a cross.

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Sarah’s Molasses Brown Bread

Servings: 2 loaves serving(s)

Prep time: 2 hours

Total time: 3 hours

Cooking time: 1 hours

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This easy molasses brown bread recipe is ready in three hours (including rising time).  If you’re new to yeast bread, this is the best beginner recipe ever. 

Molasses Brown Bread, a sweet and chewy oatmeal brown bread richly flavoured with molasses

I’m one of the bloggers participating in The Canadian Food Experience Project, a national program that’s helping to identify (or at least add clarity to) a Canadian food identity. This month’s task is to write about a regional Canadian food.

So, I have a question for you…

If I was to put in front of you a plate of homemade cookies, a slice of homemade cake and a loaf of homemade bread that’s just warm enough to melt the butter, which would you choose?

Molasses Brown Bread, a sweet and chewy oatmeal brown bread richly flavoured with molasses

Is there anything better than homemade bread? Is there anything more satisfying?

Growing up in Southern New Brunswick, and anchored by Irish and Acadian roots, homemade bread meant one thing to me: molasses brown bread. Sure there’s the classic Maritime Brown Bread that’s steamed but I grew up on the sweet and chewy oatmeal brown bread richly flavoured with molasses.

We’d eat it on Saturday night with baked beans, as would half of Atlantic Canada I suspect.

Molasses Brown Bread is still my all-time favourite bread – nothing can match it in flavour or texture.

This molasses brown bread recipe is an easy yeast bread to make, takes just one rising, and is very forgiving (unlike the Irish).

Molasses Brown Bread, a sweet and chewy oatmeal brown bread richly flavoured with molasses

This recipe came to me from one of our Facebook fans, Sarah Ingalls. It’s similar to my mom’s brown bread recipe only it has more molasses so is a little moister. Sarah called it Three-Hour Brown Bread, which is a pretty accurate description since it’s a cinch to mix up, rises to double in about 1 1/2 hours then goes straight in the oven. I added whole wheat flour to the original recipe and used butter instead of the shortening originally called for.

Enjoy this bread alongside a bowl of Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Soup or Molasses Baked Beans. It’s great as a mid-morning snack too, no butter necessary since it’s sweet and moist.

Sarah’s three-hour Molasses Brown Bread Recipe

Makes two large loaves

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 3/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (spooned in)
  • 4 1/2 cups flour (spooned in)

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl dissolve sugar in the 1 cup of warm water and sprinkle over the yeast. Leave for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl mix molasses, rolled oats, butter and salt.
  3. Add the 1 cup boiling water, whisk, and then add the 1 cup cold water.
  4. Stir in yeast mixture.
  5. Add flour gradually and scrape dough onto a floured surface to knead in the final cup of flour.
  6. Cut dough in half and place in two large bread pans that have been well greased or lined with parchment paper.
  7. Cover each plan with a dishtowel and set in a warm place to rise until almost double in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
  8. Remove dishtowels and bake at 325 F for about an hour
  9. When ready, remove from oven and let cool about five minutes before removing from pans to cool.

What’s a distinctly Canadian food in your region? Do you have a favourite family recipe?

The Canadian Food Experience Project began June 7 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity.

Here’s my mom’s recipe for Molasses Brown Bread

oatmeal brown bread - Mom's

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Here’s to eating well, everyday,

Bridget signature

Hot cross buns a simple & scrumptious Easter tradition

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IMG_9089

As a child my favourite part of hot cross buns was the frosting. Or was it the fact that you also got to butter a sweet bun that already had frosting on it?
No matter, to this day they are one of the great Easter treats.

When the hot cross buns appeared in our house the excitement meter rose about 10 notches. They launched the Easter Bunny countdown.

There is something irresistible about the soft texture of a yeast dough with egg. This is special occasion bread (even through it’s a humble dough, lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and studded simply with raisins and currants.)

This is a recipe from the old Crosby cookbook (origin unknown). It’s an easy dough to prepare, rises fairly fast and the buns bake quickly in a hot oven.

Hot cross buns

  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 pkg. dry yeast (1 Tbsp.)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. soft butter
  • 2 to 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ cup currants
  • ½ cup raisins
  1. Heat milk to lukewarm in a saucepan.
  2. Remove to a large bowl, stir in sugar and sprinkle over yeast. Let sit for 5 min.
  3. Stir in butter, egg and molasses.
  4. Add salt, spices and about 1 3/4 cups of the flour.Stir to combine.
  5. Scrape dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the remaining flour (no need to use it all).
  6. Place in a greased bowl, turn to coat, cover and let rise until double (1-1.5 hours).
  7. Punch down and let rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Knead in currants and raisins.
  9. Divide dough into 9 balls. Place about 2″ apart on parchment lined baking sheet.
  10. Cover and let rise until double (about 45 min.).
  11. Just before baking cut a cross in the top of each bun (optional).
  12. Bake at 375°F about 15 min. or until brown.
  13. When cooled, pipe  a cross on each bun with a basic white icing.

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We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Molasses and More newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Molasses Sticky Buns

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Molasses Sticky Buns

 

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Molasses Sticky Buns

  • Author: Bridget Oland
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 loaves (16 ounces each) frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Molasses Sauce

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Roll out each loaf of bread dough into a 10″ square. Spread with butter to within ½ inch of edges. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over butter. Roll up jelly-roll style; pinch seams to seal. Cut each loaf into eight slices.
  2. For sauce, in a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter, water and molasses to a boil. Pour into a greased 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Place rolls, cut side down, in molasses sauce.
  3. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in dish for 5 minutes; invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm. Yield: 16 buns.

Notes

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Keywords: sticky buns