Chefs' Recipes

Bodega's hot cross buns recipe

This recipe offers a savoury take on classic hot cross buns, courtesy of Sydney's Bodega.

By Elvis Abrahanowicz & Ben Milgate
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 3 hrs 45 mins cooking (plus proving)
  • Serves 9
  • Print
Bodega's hot cross buns
"In true Bodega style, it's a crazy combo of ingredients that just work," say Bodega owners Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate of this savoury take on the classic hot cross bun.


  • 350 gm piece of corned beef
  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 20 gm butter, diced
  • 100 gm drained kimchi
  • 50 gm pickled guindilla chillies (see note in pork belly recipe)
Hot cross buns
  • 50 ml milk
  • 25 gm molasses, plus 2 tsp extra for brushing
  • ½ egg, lightly beaten
  • 14 gm dried yeast
  • 40 gm rye flour
  • 1¼ tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 250 gm baker's flour (1 2/3 cups)
  • 75 gm margarine
Smoked oyster mayo
  • 50 gm canned smoked oysters
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot English mustard
  • 180 ml vegetable oil


  • 1
    Place corned beef, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and peppercorns in a saucepan, and cover with water (about 1.25 litres). Bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until tender (3-3½ hours; top up with water when needed).
  • 2
    For hot cross buns, grease a 17cm-square cake tin and line with baking paper. Combine milk, molasses, egg and 75ml lukewarm water in a bowl, stir in yeast and stand in a warm place until foamy (4-5 minutes). Combine rye flour, sugar, cocoa, spices, 215gm baker's flour and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add margarine and mix to fine crumbs. Gradually add yeast mixture, and knead until smooth and elastic (7-8 minutes). Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1-2 hours). Divide into nine even pieces, roll into balls and place in prepared tin. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and stand until doubled in size (45-55 minutes). Preheat oven to 170C. Combine extra molasses with a few drops water and brush tops of buns. Mix remaining flour with enough water to form a thick paste (about 35ml), transfer to a piping bag with a 5mm plain nozzle and pipe crosses on the buns. Bake until golden brown and cooked through (20-25 minutes). Cool on a wire rack, then halve.
  • 3
    For smoked oyster mayo, process oysters, egg yolk, vinegar and mustard in a food processor to combine, then, with motor running, gradually add oil in a thin steady stream until thick and emulsified. Season to taste and refrigerate until required. Smoked oyster mayo will keep for 3 days.
  • 4
    Melt half the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat, add half the bun halves cut-side down and cook until toasted (3-4 minutes). Wipe pan with paper towels, and repeat with remaining butter and buns. Heat a char-grill pan to high heat. Drain and thinly slice corned beef, and grill until warm and slightly smoky (20-30 seconds each side).
  • 5
    To serve, spread oyster mayo on both sides of buns, fill each with 2 slices of corned beef, top with kimchi and chilli, sandwich with tops and secure with toothpicks or skewers.


Drink Suggestion: Ambar 1900 beer. Drink suggestion by Joe Valore

  • undefined: Elvis Abrahanowicz & Ben Milgate