Top | Breakfast
Hot Cross Buns
(recipe, Carrie Floyd)
- 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 4½ to 5½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup currants
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
- In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast in the water. Heat the milk to 110 degrees and add it to the yeast along with the butter, brown sugar, and eggs.
- Whisk together the salt, ground spices, and 2 cups of flour, and add it to the yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
- Add the currants and orange zest, and stir to combine. Gradually add the remaining flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- First rise: Put the dough in an oiled ceramic bowl and turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Shape: Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide into 24 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and arrange on two well-greased 9-inch-by-12-inch baking pans. (This makes for buns that meld together into little squares; if you prefer separate, dome-shaped buns, spread the dough out on large baking sheets.)
- Second rise: Cover the baking pans with towels and let rise for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees if your pans are glass) about 10 minutes before baking.
- Just before baking, cut a cross about ¼-inch deep in the top of each bun with a sharp or serrated knife. For the topping, combine the milk and sugar and brush the top of each bun.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the buns reaches 190 degrees (use an instant-read thermometer). Remove the buns from the oven and let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes.
- In a measuring cup with a pouring lip, mix the confectioners’ sugar with the lemon juice and enough heavy cream to reach the consistency of honey. Drizzle the icing into the slits to form a cross on top of each bun.
*Read Carrie Floyd's review of Celebration Breads.