I LOVE hot cross buns. But what is not to like? Homemade buns with cinnamon, raisins, and icing. Yum. Traditionally they are served on Good Friday but I prefer them as a special treat on Easter morning. Enjoy.
Yield: 2 dozen
2 packages active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1-cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)
½ cup sugar
¼ cup shortening
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground allspice
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins*
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1¾ cups powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
4-6 teaspoons milk
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, cinnamon, allspice and 3 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning over once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough, cover, and let rise again about 50 minutes. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll in your palms to make a ball about two inches in diameter. Place each dough ball into a greased 9x13” baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Brush with egg white. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until a deep golden brown. I start checking them at about 12 minutes. Sometimes it takes a few minutes longer. Remove from pan to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely.
For icing - combine sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve piping consistency. Pipe a cross on top of each bun.
*If soak your raisins in hot water for a few minutes before adding to the dough they will plump up and get nice and soft.
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