Easy Hot Cross Buns
Reprinted with permission. Photography by Michael Pohuski.
From the premiere issue of SIFT magazine from the folks at King Arthur Flour, a soft, tasty, shiny morsel that relieves some of Lent’s culinary austerity, marked with a distinctly sweet cross.
Yield: 12 to 14 buns.
1/4 cup (2 ounces) apple juice or rum
1/2 cup (2 ounces) mixed dried fruit
1/2 cup (3 ounces) raisins or dried currants
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) milk, room temperature
3 large eggs, 1 separated
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 1/2 cups (19 1/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 large egg white, reserved from above
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (4 1/8 ounces) confectioners'
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 teaspoons milk, or enough to make a thick, pipe-able icing
Lightly grease a 10" square pan, half sheet pan, or 9" x 13" pan.
Pour the rum or apple juice over the dried fruit and
raisins, cover and microwave for 40 seconds on high. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Mix together all of the dough ingredients except the fruit, and knead, using an electric mixer or bread machine, till the dough is soft and elastic. Mix in the cooled fruit and any leftover liquid.
- Let the dough rise for 1 hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk.
- Divide the dough into 12 to 14 billiard ball-sized pieces, about 3 3/4 ounces each. Use your greased hands to round them into balls. Arrange them in the prepared pan.
- Cover the pan, and let rise for 1 hour, or until they've puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it over the buns.
- Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove from the oven, and transfer to a rack to cool.
- Mix together the icing ingredients, and when the buns are completely cool, pipe it in a cross shape atop each bun.