One a penny, Two a penny, Hot cross Buns!!
Ever since learning that song in pre-school I have always wanted to try a hot cross bun! Well, this year I finally decided stop saying “oh yeah…” as Easter approaches and rolls by. So I pulled out my apron, did a slew of Google searches for the perfect recipe, and pulled out my mixer!!
So I know its a little past Easter, and you might be thinking “Why is she posting this 3 days late?!” Well, because I’m lazy. BUT the good news is that these are super yummy, and I think you should make them anyway.
Hot Cross Buns (Makes 30)
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1/2 ounce (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl and baking sheet
1.5 teaspoons Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
51/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
4 ounces (3/4 cup) dried cherries, coarsely chopped
4 ounces (3/4 cup) golden raisins, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange zest
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Heat 1 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it registers 110 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour milk into a mixer bowl, and fit mixer with a dough hook. With mixer on low speed, add granulated sugar, yeast, butter, salt, the nutmeg, cinnamon and eggs. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and knead until mixture comes together in a soft, sticky dough. Continue kneading, scraping down hook as needed, until dough is smooth, about 4 minutes.
2. Add cherries and raisins, and knead to incorporate. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead to distribute dried fruit. Coat a large bowl with butter. Shape dough into a ball, and place in prepared bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Generously butter a rimmed baking sheet. Turn dough onto a surface, knead briefly, then divide into 3 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, divide each third into 10 pieces, and shape each into a tight ball. (Keep dough covered with plastic.) Place on prepared sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm spot until buns have doubled in size and are touching, about 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together egg white and water in a small bowl. Brush tops of buns with egg-white wash. Combine ¼ cup flour with 2 tablespoons water and pipe crosses onto the tops of each bun.
5. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on sheet on wire rack for 30 minutes.
6. Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, the zests, a pinch of salt. Spoon glaze on buns. Serve immediately.
** If you would rather make these the night before and bake them in the morning, stop at the end of step #3 and place the pan of dough balls into the fridge. Then in the morning let the pan “steam” in the oven with a pan of boiling water for 30 minutes before you continue on with step #4.