How do you make the Hot Cross Buns soft and tender, rather than crisp and with a hard crust?
Nigella's Hot Cross Buns (from FEAST) are gently spiced and studded with dried fruits. The dough is enriched by the addition of melted butter and also milk. This extra fat will generally help the buns to have a soft interior. The exterior is not particularly tough or crusty, but thin and slightly sweet thanks to the sugar glaze.
You can get a slightly softer crust by omitting the egg wash just before baking and using some extra melted butter instead. However this will give the surface of the buns a dull appearance, rather than the traditional shiny exterior. You could also omit the sugar glaze, but as the dough of these buns is not particularly sweet we would not recommend this. The glaze is also added after the buns have baked, so doesn't affect the texture of the crust so much.