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A gently savory yeasted and seeded bun for slathering in butter and using as rolls for mini sandwiches. These are lovely spread with a little soft cream cheese and topped with thinly sliced cucumber. An Easter-time treat. #hotcrossbun #savory #baking #bread #Easterrecipe

A gently savory yeasted and seeded bun for slathering in butter. These are lovely spread with a little soft cream cheese and topped with thinly sliced cucumber, too. An Easter-time treat.

A gently savory yeasted and seeded bun for slathering in butter and using as rolls for mini sandwiches. These are lovely spread with a little soft cream cheese and topped with thinly sliced cucumber. An Easter-time treat. #hotcrossbun #savory #baking #bread #EasterrecipeDelicious, pillowy, raisin-studded delights traditionally eaten at Easter. So, not these then. Well, not the raisin part. The above image is of Hot Cross Buns. But not as you know them.

Whether you are religious or not, I’m sure by now you’ve slung at least one packet of hot cross buns into your shopping trolley. Waitrose seems to have the most enticing iterations of this seasonal bake (I like the chocolate-orange ones).

But have you ever seen a savory one? Me neither. So I thought I would remedy that.

To be honest, I’m not sure where I got the idea from. I just kind of woke up one morning and had a huge urge to find out how a savory hot cross bun would taste. Should it be cheesy? Should it be spicy? What about herbs? I wasn’t sure. And then, as I was standing with a notebook waiting for my toast to brown, I saw the Marmite. Bingo.

marmite by kelliesfoodtoglow.com

Love it or hate it, Marmite is my ultimate savory ingredient

Andrew was out for an early run, so I was free to get stuck in without him interrupting my creative/messy thang by rummaging for something to eat (the Saturday norm). I took over the whole counter with jars of seeds, eggs, flour, bowls, more flour, yeast, and sticky, brown Marmite.

Marmite, for those of you not inculcated with British food tradition, is a most unlikely foodstuff. Some would say yucky foodstuff. The name is even used as British code for something you will love or hate. As in, “he is human Marmite. You either love him or loathe him”. You get the picture. Their latest ad campaign even plays on this polarising effect.

savory hot cross buns closeIn essence, Marmite is a vegan yeast extract spread with added secret ingredients. And it is gorgeous.

It is odd. And smelly. But many people – myself included – love, love, love Marmite. On the basis that it is extremely savory, it instantly qualified, on first taste 30 or so year’s ago, as my favorite condiment. This strange, addictive glossy-brown glop is the first thing I reach for to give a sauce (a dark one) depth.

It is the very definition of savory. And is deeply, deeply umami. I even used to take a little pot on holiday with me for breakfast emergencies. Other than toast, sauces and hot cross buns, it is glorious stirred into browning onions, vegetable bakes, these savory Chelsea buns (another pastry that is always sweet), pasta (with butter too – heaven!), soups (especially bought ones you wish to gussy up) and even added to brownies (miso is great here, too).Β  But a little goes a long way. If you can’t get Marmite, I would bet about 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast flakes – “nooch” – would work well, too. If you prefer the Australian version of Marmite, Vegemite, use that instead. Perhaps adding a bit more to account for its milder taste.

A gently savory yeasted and seeded bun for slathering in butter. These are lovely spread with a little soft cream cheese and topped with thinly sliced cucumber. An Easter-time treat. #hotcrossbun #savory #baking #bread #Easterrecipe #Marmite

crossing the buns

So, how did that first creative stab at savory hot cross bun making go? Meh. The flavour was great (a huge thumb’s up from Andrew), but the texture was a bit rubbish. I knew fairly soon that all was not going to go well. The yeast was a dud, and when I checked the teeny tiny print I saw that it had expired two years earlier. Oops. We managed to eat the small test batch in the day though. #nowastekitchenΒ  Butter saved the day on that batch πŸ™‚

A gently savory yeasted and seeded bun for slathering in butter. These are lovely spread with a little soft cream cheese and topped with thinly sliced cucumber. An Easter-time treat. #hotcrossbun #savory #baking #bread #Easterrecipe #MarmiteTwo batches later, and with in-date yeast and whole milk, these buns are pretty darn good.Β  Another previous mistake was that I had used almond milk – not high enough in fat to work here. If you need it dairy-free it will be good but you need to use something higher in fat. This helps the dough to be soft.

How To Eat Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns of any persuasion are best eaten freshly baked. Bought ones will have stuff added (usually enzymes) to keep them soft for a dew days, but homemade ones – i.e. the BEST ones – deserve your immediate and undivided attention. After the first day, hot cross buns are ideally eaten after first lightly toasting under your grill/broiler and buttering. I might try adding a little vinegar to a subsequent batch to see if that extends their life, but honestly, once made they really won’t last long anyway (chomp).

Hot Cross Buns are something that many people now eat all throughout Lent, but most especially on Good Friday when sweet, sticky fruited buns are traditionally eaten. If you fancy subverting tradition a little, and want to save the sweets for chocolate on Easter Sunday, why not give these a whirl?

Do you start buying hot cross buns as soon as you see them in the shops?Β What’s your favorite kind? Do you want to just skip over the buns and get straight to the chocolate eggs??

A gently savory yeasted and seeded bun for slathering in butter. These are lovely spread with a little soft cream cheese and topped with thinly sliced cucumber. An Easter-time treat. #hotcrossbun #savory #baking #bread #Easterrecipe #Marmite

Savory Marmite and Five-Seed Hot Cross Buns

  • Servings: 14
  • Difficulty: moderate effort
  • Print

A gently savory yeasted and seeded bun for slathering in butter and using as rolls for mini sandwiches. These are lovely spread with a little soft cream cheese and topped with thinly sliced cucumber. An Easter-time treat. xx

**Instruction method adapted from this recipe on bbcgoodfood.com

300ml whole milk

1 tbsp Marmite

50g unsalted butter

500g strong white flour or spelt flour (I use the latter)

1 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 tbsp caster or granulated sugar (raw sugar would be fine)

7g easy bake yeast

1 large egg

3 tbsp sunflower seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp kalonji seeds/nigella seeds/black onion seeds (so many names for such a tiny seed!)

1 tbsp flax seeds

1 tbsp sesame seeds

The Cross: 75g plain flour + 5 tbsp water

Glaze: 50g butter

Method

Bring the milk to a fast simmer, then remove from the heat and add the Marmite and butter . Leave to cool until it just warm. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Make dents in the flour for the sugar, salt and yeast, and a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk mix, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, stir well, then mix everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough. Knead the dough a few times in the bowl before tipping out onto your floured countertop.

Knead the dough by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Turn it a quarter turn for each knead. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a clean and lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent (see image below).

Press one hand deeply into the dough and add the seeds. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. I tend to heave it back our onto the counter and do this, but you can keep it in the bowl. Leave to rise for another hour, or until doubled in size, again covered by cling film.A gently savory yeasted and seeded bun for slathering in butter. These are lovely spread with a little soft cream cheese and topped with thinly sliced cucumber. An Easter-time treat. #hotcrossbun #savory #baking #bread #Easterrecipe #Marmite

Divide the dough into two fat sausages and cut to make 14 or so pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth-ish ball (i.e. not like mine!). Place the dough balls on one or two baking trays lined with baking parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Lightly cover with more cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to rise for 1 hour more. Yep, three rises in total.

Heat oven to 220C/200C. Mix the “Cross” flour with the 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle or as I did, into a small plastic food bag, snipping a bit off the end. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 18-20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

When you pull them from the oven, heat the butter and brush over the buns. Eat warm. Leftover buns are best reheated in a foil parcel.Β 

A gently savory yeasted and seeded bun for slathering in butter. These are lovely spread with a little soft cream cheese and topped with thinly sliced cucumber. An Easter-time treat. #hotcrossbun #savory #baking #bread #Easterrecipe #Marmite

 

 

42 thoughts on “Savory Marmite & Five-Seed Hot Cross Buns

  1. lol @ breakfast emergencies. these sound absolutely delicious! definitely perfect for Easter 😊

    1. Yep a breakfast emergency! It’s a real thing, right?

      1. haha it’s definitely a real thing!

  2. Oh my! These look soooo good! What a great idea.

    1. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm! I do hope you find the time to make them someday. They are worth the time and patience πŸ™‚

  3. fruitcrmble says:

    oh i love the idea of savory hot cross bun so please do consider making a vegan version.

    1. Unfortunately I’ve not come across a vegan hot cross bun recipe that appeals or think would work that well. That egg makes a difference to the texture. But this could easily be vegan with egg replacer (& vegan marg not coconut) if you don’t mind the texture being more overtly bread-like. 😊😊

  4. Gary says:

    Excellent. Vegemite would be great for an antipodean version. I love the flavour of Vegemite.

    1. Absolutely! I had that comment on Facebook and need to add that in to the write up as an option. I would increase the Vegemite by half again as much to make up for V’s softer taste. It’s a subtle taste, really to add a cheesy flavour πŸ™‚

      1. Gary says:

        Cheese and Vegemite is a great flavour combination. I just wish Cadbury would bring back Vegemite chocolate. It was basically caramello with a hint of Vegemite for a salted caramel like flavoured chocolate. I loved it.

  5. Garfield Hug says:

    Great for Easter! Savory is good..lesser sugar – thanks for the share.

    1. Thanks so much. An alternative to all of the sweet stuff around, but still a treat πŸ™‚

      1. Garfield Hug says:

        Definitely!πŸ‘β˜Ί

  6. mistimaan says:

    Loved your yummy recipe πŸ™‚

  7. Wow!!!! Gonna try it today:)

    1. Woo! I hope you like them πŸ™‚

      1. Can I say you’re just WONDERFULLL??? Thanks for this recipe, you’re an expert chef truly!!!

  8. Holly says:

    I flipping LOVE marmite and hot cross buns! Can’t wait to try this ❀️

    1. Yay! Thanks, Holly. I hope you love them as much as we do πŸ™‚

      1. Holly says:

        I’ll have a go and let you know!

      2. LIO BRIDGE says:

        USA true I would like to know you better dia

  9. Sally says:

    I loathe hot cross buns that have been tinkered with (salted caramel and chocolate… noooooo). But you have taken such a swerve here that it’s not only acceptable I’m mentally going through the ingredients in my pantry. Great idea – and I’m a life long Marmite lover

    1. I knew I liked you, Sally πŸ˜‰ Let me know if these make it onto your table. Time well spent, I’d say xx

  10. Morgan says:

    Being American, I’ve never had, but have Seen Marmite. What does it taste like?

    1. It’s hard to describe. As I said above it is very savory. It has a slight sharpness to it that I find pleasant. Vegemite – the Australian version of Marmite – is softer in taste. In this recipe the amount of Marmite I use makes the buns taste like they have cheese in them but otherwise don’t intrude on the overall taste. People like to make hot drinks with it, too. Just add a 1/2 tsp (+) of it to a mug and pour in boiling water. Very nourishing but, as I said, a little goes a long way! I hope this helps. It really is it’s own flavour and doesn’t taste like anything else!

      1. Morgan says:

        Sounds like something I have to try πŸ˜‰ Thanks!

  11. Yvonne says:

    From a kiwi living in Canada. Traditional hot cross buns from an Aussie bakery that I visit once a year. A lovely memory of home, they are as good as the New Zealand ones!!!!
    Marmite and vegemite are great, especially on hot buttered toast. Reminds me of all those vegemite sandwiches from school days – lots of years ago now.
    Thank you for the work you put into developing recipes, the hot cross buns look delicious, but I will stay with the traditional ones for now.
    Happy spring

  12. Wren says:

    I love Marmite… Those look tasty!!

  13. cookwitch1 says:

    These I need to try. (I’ve used aquafaba and home made soy milk in vegan ‘brioche’ rolls, and they rose well. The soy was much richer than shop bought so the rolls had that buttery flavour. )

    1. That is so good to know! Thanks for sharing this information. I’m sure other vegan readers here will find that invaluable for this and other yeasted baking. 😊😊😊

  14. Finson says:

    yummy

  15. I purchased a jar of marmite a couple of months ago and it’s still sitting in my pantry unopened, I was intrigued enough to buy it but then not quite sure when I got it home. You have given me some new insight and inspiration on a few different ways to give it a try, thank you!

  16. Janice @FarmersgirlCook says:

    Love these savoury HCBs. Really inspiring, I have all sorts of ideas I’d like to try, but looks like time is going to be against me. Hope you and your family have a Happy Easter.

  17. Chelvi S says:

    Marmite is very common in Sri Lanka and we used to eat it spreaded on bread with butter. After moving to US, I don’t get them. But finally I got it in a store and this is a good recipe to try

    1. Oh I’m so pleased, Chelvi. I had no idea that this odd little paste was popular in Sri Lanka. That’s such a surprise! Let me know if you try these buns. It’s also nice in cheesestraws, too 😊😊

  18. rebmln455 says:

    Delicious is all I can say.

  19. rebmln455 says:

    You got to be a baker.

  20. azratarannum says:

    Nice recipe…

  21. This really really appeals to me (being a Marmite lover) and a savoury person. I love a savoury scone and I think this idea is absolutely cracking. Nice one Kellie!

  22. ruralwifie says:

    made these 2 days ago to have with soup, much bigger than i expected! Will make 20 from the mix next time. Had them yesterday morning for breakfast filled with bacon and a slice of black pudding, then split and toasted today filled with mashed burmese tofu [looked like scrambled egg] and more bacon. They are absolutely wonderful. When I make again, I may put a bit more marmite in the mix. I used sunflower, nigella, linseed and pumpkin seeds as they were what i had to hand and they worked beautifully. Thank you so much for a really great useful recipe.

    1. I’m thrilled! I am so glad that you were able to enjoy them over a few days as they do keep well, they just need a little warming up. And I totally agree about adding a bit more Marmite. I gave the smaller measure to just impart an umami cheesiness but actually tasting the Marmite properly is even better. Thanks for your lovely comment πŸ™‚

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