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5 from 1 vote

Ħobża ta' San Martin (St Martin's Sweet Bun)

Ħobża ta’ San Martin is a sweet mildly spicy soft bun that makes the traditional bag (borża) of St. Martin complete.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Maltese, Mediterranean
Keyword: Bread
Servings: 8
Author: apronandwhisk



  • 400 g bread flour
  • 75 g butter room temperature
  • 90 g sugar
  • 250 ml milk lukewarm
  • 1 sachet yeast 11g
  • 1 tsp whole aniseeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Syrup and decoration

  • 20 ml water
  • 20 g sugar
  • sesame seeds
  • liquorice pastels


  • In a small bowl mix the lukewarm milk, yeast and 15g of sugar. Let the mixture foam for about 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, mix the flour and the butter until you get a crumbly texture. Once ready add all the remaining ingredients together and knead the dough for about 15 minutes.
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for an hour in the warmest place in your kitchen until it doubles in size.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Once the dough is ready, punch it down and knead for a couple of minutes. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and form into balls.
  • Place the buns on the tray keeping a good amount of space between each one. Cover and let rise for another 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C or 390°F. Make the syrup by mixing together the water and sugar.
  • Before placing the buns into the oven, brush them with the syrup and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
  • Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the bun have a nice golden brown colour.
  • As soon as you take them out of the oven, place a liquorice pastel in the middle of the bun. Let the buns rest and enjoy!


  • Ideally, the buns are to be served on the same day or the day after as they dry out easily.
  • You can also cook them in an air fryer: 170°C or 340°F for 8 minutes.
  • Don't forget to include these buns in your St Martin's bag of treats :)