Traditionally consumed during Lent, and to break the fast on Easter morning, Hot Cross Buns are so popular they have their own song.
Using a pair of kitchen shears, we are creating bunnies from this savory dough, and enjoying the cuteness that is quite easy to create!
Hot Cross Buns
1 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs plus one yolk (white reserved for glaze below)
2 tablespoons oil (for the rising bowl)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg white plus 1 tablespoon water (to brush rolls before baking)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk or cream
In a small saucepan or in the microwave, heat the milk and butter just until the butter melts. Add the vanilla and stir.
Measure 4 cups flour, yeast, sugar, zests and the spices into mixer bowl. Whisk to combine. With the mixer on low, slowly add the heated milk, butter and vanilla mixture. Add the eggs and mix until dough is thoroughly combined. Add enough additional flour so the dough will easily form a ball and is no longer sticky.
Knead on a floured board (or use the dough hook on mixer if you have one) until the dough is smooth and shiny, about 5 minutes. Knead in the cranberries and raisins. Form dough into a ball, oil well, set in a large bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch dough down and form into 12 equal balls. Place on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving room for them to double in size. Let rise for another hour.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the tops of the buns with a wash made by whisking the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, until puffed and nicely browned. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
Mix confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Place in a plastic sandwich bag with one corner snipped and pipe a cross on the top of each bun. Makes 16.
Per serving: 280 calories (28 percent from fat), 10 g fat (5.7 g saturated, 2.7 g monounsaturated), 69 mg cholesterol, 6.6 g protein, 51.7 g carbohydrates, 1.7 g fiber, 145 mg sodium.