Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Marked with a symbolic puff pastry cross, Hot Cross Buns are a special treat and frequent fixture at many Easter Sunday meals. Though they are quite tasty plain, they are especially delicious when split and then served with a liberal layer of butter and fresh marmalade.
Yield: 24 buns
Time: Approximately 3 hours
1 cup warm milk (105-115)
5 teaspoons active dry yeasts
1/2 hefty cup of granulated sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks cold unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup dried currant
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange zest
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
3 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar
In a small bowl stir together milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Let mixture stand 5 minutes, or until foamy.
Pour flour, allspice, cinnamon, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl and sift all ingredients together. Cut butter into small chunks and use your fingertips or a pastry blender to blend into flour mixture – mixture should resemble a course meal.
Lightly beat 1 whole egg with egg yolk. Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in yeast and egg mixtures, as well as currants, raisins, and zests. Stir mixture until a dough is formed. Transfer dough to a floured surface and with floured hands knead until smooth and elastic, about 1- minutes.
Transfer dough to an oiled large bowl and turn to coat. Let dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Butter 2 large baking sheets.
On a floured surface with floured hands knead dough briefly and form into two 12 inch long logs. Cut each log crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Let buns rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
While buns are rising, lightly beat remaining egg with superfine sugar to make an egg glaze. On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out pastry dough into a 20 by 6 inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). With a sharp knife cut rectangle crosswise into 1.8 inch wide strips.
Brush buns with egg glaze and arrange 2 pastry strips over center of each bun to form a cross. Trim ends of pastry strips flush with bottoms of buns. Bake buns in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 12 minutes.
Transfer buns to a rack to cool slightly. Buns may be made 1 week ahead and frozen, wrapped in foil and put in sealable plastic bag. Thaw buns and reheat before serving. Serve buns warm or at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious