Hot Cross Buns

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Makes 9 large buns
(Adapted from Canadian Living Magazine)

These spectacular buns were made in our "Test Kitchen" today. They were served with a roasted sweet potato salad and a yummy chicken and dumplings.

1/2 cup sugar plus 1 Tbsp
¼ warm water
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground clove
¾ cup warm milk
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg plus I yolk
½ dried currants
¼ cup chopped candied orange peel
GLAZE
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp water
ICING
½ cup icing sugar
2 tsp water

In a small bowl, dissolve 1 tbsp of the sugar in warm water. 
Sprinkle in yeast and let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. 
Meanwhile in large bowl, blend remaining sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and ground clove.
Whisk together milk, butter, egg, egg yolk, yeast mixture and pour into dry mixture. 
With wooden spoon, stir until soft dough forms.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; knead for 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Add up to ½ cup of remaining flour if needed). 
Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. 
Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Or let it rise overnight in the refrigerator.
Punch down dough and turn out onto lightly floured surface.  Knead in currants and peel. 
Shape into 12-inch log and cut into 9 pieces. 
Shape each into ball, stretching and pinching dough underneath to make tops smooth. 
Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined baking sheet. 
Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes. 
Bake in centre of 400⁰F oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
GLAZE:  In saucepan, stir sugar with water over medium heat until dissolved. Brush over buns and let cool.
ICING: Stir icing sugar with water.  Using piping bag fitted with round tip, pipe cross on top of each cooled bun.