Saturday, March 30, 2013

One a Penny

I figured if any day was a good day to try out making sweet buns. It is the day before Good Friday, when hot cross buns are most appropriate. And it's the first evening of my spring break. Finally. 

Hot Cross Buns
You really could use any dried fruit you please, if it's approximately the size of a raisin (or a little smaller), but golden raisins do brown nicely in the oven when they're on the outside of the bun. Don't worry too much about the type of yeast (I only keep one type around), just  make sure that it's something in the at-least-slightly-faster-than-regular category.

  1. Make dough.
  2. Knead dough.
  3. Rise.
  4. Shape into buns.
  5. Rise.
  6. Bake.
  7. Enjoy.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons quick-rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt, scant
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, heaping
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice, heaping
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, heaping
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed
  • 1/2 cup water, warmed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened and coarsely cubed
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 2/3 golden raisins

1) Mix together flours, yeast, salt, sugar, and spice. Pour in the warmed liquids. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, combine gently. Add the butter and egg (it will be sticky), continuing to mix. Finally, add the raisins and zest. Knead until completely smooth, around 5 minutes.

2) Allow to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough. Divide into 16 pieces for small buns, 12 for medium and 8 for large. Shape into balls and places on a floured counter or cutting board. Give them another 30 minutes to rise (they should be puffy, but probably won't double in size). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

3) Place buns on sheet pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and crisp on the outside.

I tried to make crosses on the top before they baked as the original instructions wanted me to, and you're welcome to do that, but they didn't turn out nearly bright enough to make much of a difference on the surface. Perhaps it would have worked better had I been willing to dirty a piping bag or use a disposable ziplock instead of dribbling the mixture on top with a spoon. In any case, they will be beautiful with or without the cross, which makes them more universally accepted on more occasions--so what could be better?

But if you're dead set on the traditional look, some white icing would do the trick. The most important thing here is that you don't make it too thin--it has to strongly adhere to the bread in order for it not to slip down the sides too much. King Arthur Flour seems to have a simple recipe for the icing beneath its hot cross buns recipe. Disclaimer: I haven't tried it - I'm perfectly content with my creations, and since they're for breakfast, I don't want a sugar overload. Most of the time. 

No comments:

Post a Comment