Hot Cross Buns

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A hot cross bun is a lightly spiced, sweet bun traditionally made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, but have become a popular treat often sold in bakeries year-round. These sweet buns are nicely spiced with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. You can adjust the amounts and types of ground spices to suit your own personal taste. I like to add in raisins or dried cranberries, but you can also try using other types of dried fruits such as cherries.

Hot cross buns are not difficult to make, but just like any other yeast bread they require about 2-3 hours to rise twice and then bake. ______________________________________________________________________________________

Hot Cross Buns

Makes 12

Ingredients:

1 cup skim milk

2 1/4 tsp quick acting dry yeast (1 package)

1/2 tsp white sugar

2- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

5 tbsp unsalted margarine or butter, melted

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Glaze:

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon skim milk

Directions:
Option A: Using a bread maker
  1. Place all of the ingredients into the bread maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Select dough cycle.

Option B: Making by hand

  1. Gently heat the milk over low-medium heat until lukewarm.

  2. Add the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar and stir to combine. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, spices, and salt. Once the yeast is foamy, gradually add to the flour mixture and beat until the dry ingredients are moistened.

  4. Add the melted butter and egg and mix until incorporated. Gradually add the dried fruit and continue to knead the dough until it springs back when poked. Add more flour if necessary.

  5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clean, damp cloth and then place in a warm spot to rise until it has almost doubled in size (about 90 minutes).

Both (After first rise cycle):

  1. Gently punch the dough down to release the air, and divide into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a small round ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with a clean, damp cloth and place in a warm spot until almost doubled in size (about 60 minutes).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut a ‘cross’ in the top of each bun.
  3. Bake buns for about 15 minutes, or until they are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

    Glaze:Combine the confectioners sugar and milk and mix until smooth. Drizzle icing on in a cross shape.

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