Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served on Good Friday...but they would make a lovely springtime treat anytime during the Easter season.
The bread is lightly spiced, and not overly sweet - perfect for serving with your coffee or tea.
They also reheat very nicely...and served with a little butter or jam, they'd make a quick little snack before church on Sunday morning. :)
I made mine using a stand mixer, although you can knead the dough by hand as well.
The recipe is simple to make, just make sure you plan enough time for the dough to rise. If you start your dough first thing in the morning, you should have yummy warm rolls by lunchtime. :)
Hot Cross Buns
4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger2/3 cup dried currants or raisins
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 100-110 F)
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar (I used white)
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
For the Icing:
2 Tbsp. melted butter
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
4 Tbsp. powdered sugar (more, if needed)
In a mixing bowl, stir together 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Toss the currants or raisins with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, and set aside.
Sprinkle the yeast into the warm water, and stir in 1 tsp. sugar. Let sit until frothy.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, scald the milk. Add the butter, sugar and salt, stirring until melted and blended. Let cool to lukewarm. Beat eggs and add to milk mixture. Then add the yeast, stirring well.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture & pour in the yeast/milk mixture from the pot. If using a stand mixer, beat on low speed for 5 minutes using the paddle or dough hook attachment. You may need to stir with a wooden spoon at first, to get things started. (By hand, use a wooden spoon or hand mixer.) Mix the extra 1/2 cup flour-with-raisins into the dough, and add more flour as necessary until the dough is smooth and elastic, and fairly firm. (Or turn onto a floured surface and knead by hand). This part should only take a few minutes.
Place dough into an oiled bowl, turning the dough to cover all sides. Cover the bowl with a towel and set in a warm place to rise until the dough is doubled in size (about 2 hours).
Punch down the dough and shape it into two dozen small buns. Place them about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets or in muffin pans. Cut a cross on top of each bun, using a sharp knife. Cover with a towel and allow to rise again, until doubled (about 30-45 minutes).
Bake at 400 F for 18 - 20 minutes.
For the icing, mix the powdered sugar with the melted butter and lemon juice (adding more sugar if it is too runny). Brush or drizzle a cross on top of each cooled bun.
I have a downloadable/printable copy of this recipe posted here, just for you. :)