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Hot Cross Buns

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Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

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Hot Cross Buns is a traditional sweetened bread made with spices and raisins, and marked with a cross on top. Usually served on Good Friday, these tasty buns are great any time of the year. For a different variation, try substituting the raisins with chocolate chips.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes

Yield: Makes 16 rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup currants
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • Glaze
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Frosting
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preparation:

Stir together 1/4 cup of the warmed milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the flour, salt, spices, and 1/4 cup of sugar.

Create a well in the flour and add the yeast, softened butter, and eggs, and the remaining milk. Using a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment of your mixer, mix the ingredients until well incorporated. The mixture should be thick and quite sticky. Add in the currants and orange zest.

If you are using a stand-up mixer, switch to the dough hook attachment and start to knead on low speed. (If not using a mixer, use your hands to knead.) Slowly sprinkle in additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, kneading to incorporate after each addition, until the flour is still slightly tacky, but is no longer completely sticking to your fingers when you work with it.

Form a ball of dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or towel. Let sit, covered, in a warm part of the kitchen for 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

Punch down the dough. Roll the ball of dough into a log shape and cut it across the middle into two halves. Take one half and cut it into 8 equal pieces.

Take the individual pieces and pat them into rounds, placing them a couple inches apart on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and then divide the remaining dough into 8 equal pieces and place them in balls on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit at room temperature to rise again, until the rolls have doubled in volume, about 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare egg wash by whisking together one egg and a tablespoon of milk. Score the top of the buns with a sharp knife in a cross pattern (about 1/4-inch deep). Brush the tops with the egg wash. The egg wash will help make the buns shiny and add some color.

Place in the middle rack of the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the buns are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer the buns to a wire rack to cool.

After the buns have completely cooled, whisk together the milk and the powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar until you get a thick consistency. Place in a pastry bag or plastic sandwich with a small piece of the corner snipped off. Pipe two lines of frosting across each bun to make a cross.

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