Raise your hand if you like hot cross buns!! I am raising mine because I truly love those little rolls that is typically made during the Easter season.
My love for hot cross buns go way back in high school Home Economics class where we made recipes every so often. I love the slightly sweet bread-like taste with raisins and a little spice mixed in. Also, my mom made similar raisin buns on a regular basis and we could not wait for them to be out of the oven! Hot cross buns have some significance to the crucifixion of Christ, hence the crosses and the spices. So much more than the taste, they are great little reminders as to what Christ did for us.
I am no baking pro by any means. But I have been experimenting with with my own hot cross buns recipes lately and think I have found a keeper. Don’t worry that the icing looks a little messy – think about the taste. My one year old decided he wanted to be on me while I drizzled the icing so no perfect drizzle here! I really wanted to have the perfect drizzle but then I remembered that sometimes things do not have to look perfect to taste good. So I scooped up my little one after his consistent yanking at me and I used one hand to drizzle the icing. You can even see him trying to grab one in the next image while I was taking the photos. Oh well!!
While I would like to tell you that the recipe is going to be fast, I have to admit that the dough will need to rise for a while before baking. That is the only thing that gets me sometimes with bread when I am in a hurry!! So I tried to give myself an ample amount of time to allow the dough to rise well so the buns would not turn out as flat as the ones I made last year.
- For Buns:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1-1/4 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 whole egg, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup dark raisins
- For Egg Wash:
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon milk
- For Icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Combine 3-3/4 cups flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Warm 1-1/4 cups milk and 3 tablespoons butter in a small skillet over low heat. Stir constantly until butter is melted and the milk reaches 110 degrees. If it is too hot allow it to cool down a bit. Add sugar and stir. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture and let it rest for 10 minutes. Stir in beaten egg. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix into a sticky but manageable dough. Add in the rest of the flour and the raisins. Stir well. Roll out dough unto a generously floured surface. Grease a large bowl with remaining tablespoon butter. Place dough in the bowl and roll it around in the butter. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. Punch dough down and roll out on a slightly floured surface. Cut into 16 rolls and place them on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise 30 to 45 minutes more.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To make the egg wash, mix 1 teaspoon milk with egg white and brush the top of each piece of dough. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until nice and brown. Let cool completely.
- Mix icing ingredients together until the mixture reaches drizzling consistency. Add a little more milk if it is too stiff or a little more powdered sugar if it is too soft. Drizzle over buns in a cross shape.
- These buns are best if eaten on the same day. But they can be kept covered and used on the following day. Do not reheat because the icing will melt, of course.
I’d say they turned out real well except for the messy icing. But that did not stop us from gobbling down a few of these once they were ready. And of course, the kids were all crazy about the icing! They certainly are a nice addition to Easter brunch, breakfast, snack or anytime treat! And who says they only have to be made at Easter? I am sure if I remove the crosses and just drizzle regular icing over them they will be just as good!
Do you like hot cross buns? Have you made them yourself or do you only eat them when someone else makes them? I would love to hear about it in the comments.