Saturday, April 03, 2010

Hot Cross Buns

I had to make them this year. I could taste them just thinking about them on Thursday, their yeasty, spicy, fruity, bready goodness. Not familiar with Hot Cross Buns and their background, click here. Some of the superstitions around them are pretty interesting. I guess I was supposed to make them on Good Friday, but would have been up all night due to the lengthy rising time in my old, cold, drafty flat. I literally have to rig a system for dough to rise in my house, but it works, just takes a little longer (about 20 mins) then the recommended rising time on most recipes.

After some research online there are many different recipes out there and various methods of putting the cross on the bun, I used icing on mine with lemon zest in it. I prefer my Mom's recipe so I called her and she read it to me over the phone (I altered it just a bit). Once cooled and ready to eat, I slowly took a bite and I was transported back to my childhood, suddenly I was sitting at my parent's kitchen table at Easter time surrounded by family. Its so nice when a flavor can assist in time travel, thanks Mom. Tim had not ever had a Hot Cross Bun and ate two right off the bat, I guess I likes them! I will have to make them every Easter now - a new tradition. Note to self, next year, take Good Friday off, go to Mass and make Hot Cross Buns.

It is amazing that such simple ingredients can turn into such a delicious treat.

Want to make them yourself? Here is my recipe.

Hot Cross Buns
1 Cup Milk* (Scalded)
1/2 Cup Butter*
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 pk. Active Dry Yeast
1 Egg*
4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 Cup Raisins
1/4 Cup Currants
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Allspice
1 Tbls Orange Zest

1. Pour scalded milk over butter and sugar, stir to dissolve sugar and melt butter and cool until luke warm.
2. Add yeast and egg - mix well
3. Slowly add flour and salt (reserve 1 Tbls. flour to dust fruit)
4. Add spices and fruit to mixture
5. Knead until dough comes together and is smooth and elastic
6. Turn dough into buttered bowl, cover and rise approx. 1 hour (until doubled)
7. Punch down dough (my Mom's favorite part)
8. Turn dough out onto floured board
9. Shape into 15 even sized buns and place into a buttered 9" x 13" pan
10. Cover and rise for 30 minutes until puffy and all buns are touching each other
11. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes then lower heat to 350 degrees and bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
12. Remove from oven and cool.

1 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest
1/2 tsp. Lemon Extract
1-2 tsp. Milk*

Mix until smooth and pipe or spoon over buns in a cross shape.

* - you can use rice or soy milk (I used rice), butter alternatives (I do use real organic butter) and egg replacer (egg beaters, not powdered egg replacer - I used a local organic egg).


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