Easter is probably my favorite holiday (after Mardi Gras, obviously). I don’t know why – maybe it’s all the bright colored eggs or the fun baskets I get to make these days. I just love it.

Another great thing about Easter? Hot Cross Buns! Slightly sweet, yeast rolls studded with currants (or dried fruit of choice) and lots of cinnamon. And as if that’s not enough, they’re brushed with a deliciously sweet glaze. Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday so make sure you save this recipe for next week!

The recipe is very easy and the dough can even be made in your bread machine if you’re pressed for time. For the glaze, I brushed it over the buns and then thickened it up with more powdered sugar to make the crosses. So simple and so delicious!

Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients

For the buns:
½ cup water
½ cup milk
¼ butter, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
3½ cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
¾ cup dried currants
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 teaspoons water

Instructions

    To make the dough using a bread machine:
  1. Have liquid ingredients at 80F and all other ingredients at room temperature. Place ingredients in pan in the order specified in your owner's manual. Select dough/manual cycle. Currants can be added 5 minutes before the end of the last kneading. Do not use the delay timer. Take dough out after kneading cycle is complete. Follow Shaping, Rising and Baking directions below. TIP: Check dough consistency after 5 minutes of kneading. The dough should be in a soft, tacky ball. If it is dry and stiff, add water, ½ to 1 tablespoon at a time. If it is too wet and sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time.
  2. To make using a hand-held mixer:
  3. Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, and other dry ingredients, except currants. Combine water and milk; heat to 120to 130F.
  4. Combine dry mixture, liquid ingredients, and butter in mixing bowl on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. Add egg; beat 1 minute. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Add additional flour if necessary. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
  5. To make using a stand mixer:
  6. Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, and other dry ingredients, except currants. Combine water and milk; heat to 120to 130F.
  7. Combine dry mixture, liquid ingredients, and butter in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Add egg; beat 1 minute. Gradually add remaining flour and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
  8. To make using a food processor:
  9. Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add butter, egg, and liquid ingredients. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a ball. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
  10. Shaping, rising, and baking:
  11. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Divide into 3 parts. Divide each third into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Place on greased cookie sheet, sides touching. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching. Combine 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water; brush buns. Bake in preheated 375F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets; cool. Frost with glaze.
  12. To make the glaze:
  13. Whisk together sugar, vanilla, and water until you get your desired consistency.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/03/26/hot-cross-buns-2/

The post sponsored by Red Star Yeast. All opinions are my own.

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