Friday, April 18, 2014

hot cross buns

My family is really bad at keeping traditions.

Birthdays pass forgotten, anniversaries are barely ever mentioned, even Christmas is almost a wink of the eye.

So it is nothing short of a miracle that I am posting Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday, the day they are traditionally eaten. Must be my son's Catholic school rubbing off.

And I am so glad I did. These little buns are so heavenly! How did I live a whole life and never have any? Such a shame.

I plan to make up for the loss by eating the entire tray of them solo (just kidding - I am having some willing helpers) and making this a family tradition - Hot Cross Buns every Good Friday, and maybe some bad Fridays, too.

Hot Cross Buns
Makes 18-22 buns, adapted from Tasty Kitchen

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 package (1 1/8 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cups (additional) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Spices: cardamom, nutmeg, allspice (optional)
  • ½ cups mixed dried berries and pepitas (any dried berries will do)
  • 1 egg white
  • Splash of milk
Icing Ingredients
  • 1 egg white
  • Powdered sugar
  • Splash of milk

  1. Combine 1 cup milk, canola oil, and 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan. Stir and heat until very warm but not boiling. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until mixture is still warm, but not hot–about 30 minutes. Sprinkle yeast over mixture.
  2. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover with a towel and set aside for 1 hour.Add 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir till combined.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and whatever other spices you want to use. Lightly flour surface. Press to slightly flatten dough.
  4. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle on about a third of the berries. Then fold the dough over on itself and flatten again so the berries and spices are not visible. Repeat the sugar/berry process, then fold the dough again. Repeat a third time until all the berries are used. (You won’t use all the sugar/cinnamon mixture.)
  5. Pinch off ping pong or golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a ball, then turn the edges under themselves slightly to create nice rounded balls. Place on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes to an hour or more until balls have risen twice their size. Once risen you can cut a cross into the tops with a small serrated knife. I didn't have much luck with this - the knife I have is not deal and the little buns deflated, so I only did half of them this way.
  6. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees
  7. Mix the glaze by combining one egg white with a splash of milk. Brush onto each roll.
    Bake for 20 minutes, give or take, or until tops of buns have turned nice and golden brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  8. You can eat these without the icing - they are that good - but for the traditional recipe add the icing crosses. Mix the icing by combining one egg white with enough sifted powdered sugar for icing to be very thick. (I didn't add enough sugar for a very thick icing, but it was alright, although a bit runny.) Splash in milk as needed for consistency.
  9. Add icing to a small Ziploc bag and snip the corner. Make icing crosses on each roll, making sure they’re completely cooled first. Happy Easter!

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