Monday, March 11, 2013

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns. Hot Cross Buns. One a penny. Two a penny. Hot Cross Buns.

Do you know that song?  I think it was fourth grade whenever everyone in our elementary school had to learn to play the recorder. What an awful instrument. I am surprise I didn't go crazy with the high squeaking noises. I am surprised my parents didn't go crazy. 

Hot cross buns was one of the first songs you learn to play on the recorder. Of course at the time I had no idea what a hot cross bun was.  Now I am much more enlightened.

I thought these were perfect for the weekend with Easter approaching.  Best served warm.

Hot Cross Buns

by Emily Morris, King Arthur Flour
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: bake bread Easter
Ingredients (serves 12)
For the Buns
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, 1 separated
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup 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 King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
For the Topping
  • 1 large egg white, reserved from above
  • 1 tablespoon milk
For the Icing
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons milk, or enough to make a thick, pipeable icing
Lightly grease a 10" square pan or 9" x 13" pan.

Mix the apple juice with the raisins, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave briefly, just till the fruit and liquid are very warm, and the plastic starts to "shrink wrap" itself over the top of the bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

When the fruit is cool, mix together all of the dough ingredients except the fruit, and knead, using an electric mixer, till the dough is soft and elastic. Mix in the fruit and any liquid not absorbed.

Let the dough rise for 1 hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk.

Divide the dough into billiard ball-sized pieces, about 3 3/4 ounces each. A heaped muffin scoop (about 1/3 cup) makes about the right portion. You'll make 12 to 14 buns. Use your greased hands to round them into balls. Arrange them in the prepared pan.

Cover the pan, and let the buns 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.
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  1. Easter is the day after my birthday this year! Whoot whoot! It would be even better if it were the day *before* my birthday, since Lent is still on over my birthday, but I'll take what I can get. Unfortunately, Harvard doesn't time spring break with Easter (and we don't get Easter Monday or Black Friday off), so I'm *STILL* not going to be home for my birthday! Boo!!

  2. Oh yes, the recorder, lol. These look great, so perfect for Easter!


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