Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns (A Seat at the Table)

I’d never made Hot Cross Buns before last year when I decided to give them a try to take to the Easter breakfast potluck.  Now I wish I’d grown up with them being a yearly tradition.  These rolls are fantastic!  They have a slightly sweet dough that’s absolutely perfect.  The currants add a little extra chew and sweetness without being overwhelming.  I personally preferred them without the white cross, but since that was rather traditional in making them hot cross buns, I left it on.

Getting the consistency right for the frosting is a challenge, you’ll want the frosting to be able to be piped on, so make sure it’s nice and thick.  To pipe it just scoop it into a ziplock baggie and cut just a little of the corner off to create a piping bag.  And, of course, make sure your rolls are completely cooled.  Allow the frosting to set before packaging them up.  Store the rolls in an air-tight container and they’ll be good for a few days.

If this makes too many buns for you, you can freeze them after you form them into the buns and then let them thaw on the counter overnight covered by a tea towel, then bake as usual.

Hot Cross Buns

Makes about 24

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (extra)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom (optional, or other spice, like nutmeg or allspice)
  • 1/2 cup currants (or raisins)

Glaze

  • 1 egg white
  • splash of milk

Icing

  • 1 egg white
  • powdered sugar

In a pot, mix the milk, oil, and sugar together and heat until just about to simmer.  Pour the liquid into a large bowl and allow to cool, about 10 minutes, until it’s warm but not hot.  Sprinkle with yeast.

Add 4 cups of flour and mix until just combined, it will be very sticky.  Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for about 1 hour in a warm place.

After the dough has risen, mix in another 1/2 cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Sprinkle a little flour on a clean counter and use your hands to flatten out the dough.  Sprinkle the dough with a little of the sugar and then sprinkle on about 1/3 of the currants.  Fold the dough over, and flatten again, sprinkle with sugar and half the remaining currants.  Repeat one more time, folding over and flattening the dough, then sprinkling with a little more sugar and the last of the currants.  Fold again, and then pull off golfball sized amounts and roll into balls.  To get smooth tops, pull the sides of the ball and tuck under to create a smooth ball, make about 24 balls.  Place the dough balls on a large greased baking sheet and cover with a tea towel.  Let rise for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Mix one egg white and a splash of milk together and then brush the tops of each bun.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.  When the rolls are done, allow to cool on a wire rack.

To make the sugar cross, beat the egg white with powdered sugar until it reaches a thick, almost glue-like thickness.  Pour the mixture into a ziplock bag, cut off a very small corner of the bag and pipe the cross on the completely cooled rolls.

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