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Hot Cross Buns

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Cross Buns

Cross Buns

Photo by Cynthia Nelson

I've always found Hot Cross Buns to be blah. They always have to be slathered with butter, jam or jelly to have a taste to satisfy me.

Determined to make a bun that was tender, sweet, well-balanced with spice and one that I can eat just as is, I came up with this recipe that I am sure will please you. Though these buns do not have crosses, they are still very much Hot Cross Buns.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Dough resting and rising: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 12 - 14

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm whole milk (110 - 115 degrees F)
  • 1 Tbsp dry active yeast or instant
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

Preparation:

  1. Add sugar to bowl along with milk and stir to dissolve; toss in yeast and give a little stir (be sure to wipe off any yeast stuck on the spoon. Cover and let proof in a warm place for 10 minutes.

  2. Add flour to bowl along with ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt; mix thoroughly. Stir in raisins.

  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast-milk mixture and mix to form a dough. Once formed, knead the dough for 2 minutes, place in an oiled bowl, cover and put in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has more than doubled in size.

  4. Punch down risen dough and knead for 2 minutes and then cut dough into equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a ball and placed in a large an oiled baking dish or pan. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the middle, 20 minutes before the 1 hour of rising is complete.

  6. Add the 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons water to a small bowl and stir to dissolve sugar.

  7. Brush the risen dough with sugar water and transfer dish/pan to the oven. Bake for 12 minutes; brush with sugar water and bake for another 12 minutes. Brush again with sugar water and bake for 3 minutes.

  8. Remove dish/pan from oven, place on wire rack and brush a few times with the remaining sugar water and leave to cool in the dish for 10 - 12 minutes.

  9. Use a spatula to pry the buns from the dish/pan and transfer to a wire rack. Place the wire rack onto a baking sheet and let continue to cool.

  10. Meanwhile, add icing sugar and milk to a bowl and whisk to dissolve. Using a tablespoon, drizzle the glaze all over the buns - on the tops and sides. Let continue to cool until you are ready to serve them. 

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