Some say that the Easter tradition of eating Hot Cross Buns pre-dates Christianity, going back to the Saxons, who ate the spiced sweet rolls in honor of Eostre, the Greek goddess of spring (and, thus, fertility). The crosses on the buns represented the four quarters of the moon.
- Prep Time :
- Cook Time :
- Ready Time :
1 hour, 40 min
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 ounce active dry yeast (1 envelope)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (total 1 tsp + 1/4 c. granulated sugar)
- 1/2 cup warmed milk (about 110 degrees)
- 2 ounce butter, melted (1/2 stick)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3-4 cups Stone-Buhr All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk or warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine the warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Set it aside to dissolve for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the warm milk, the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs. Beat briskly to blend well. Stir in 2 cups of flour, the cinnamon and allspice, and beat on low speed until all of the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Add the raisins and currants and enough flour to make the dough manageable. Beat on medium speed until the mixture forms a ball, pulls away from the sides of the bowl, and climbs up the dough hook.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a smooth ball. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat all sides and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch the dough down and pat and stretch (or roll) it to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut buns using a 2-1/2 inch circular cutter. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or pan spray.
- Make the buns by forming each circle into a ball, smoothing the underside of the ball and pinching and tucking any loose ends under. Place the buns 1-inch apart on the baking sheets, cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Use scissors to snip a cross in the buns. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Remove the buns from the baking sheets and cool slightly on a rack before glazing.
- To glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar with milk or water; it will be medium thick. Add more liquid if necessary. Use a pastry bag fitted with a small tip or a toothpick to apply the glaze in the cross on each bun.