Thinking about the week ahead, I decided to research making hot cross buns. This recipe by Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), was the one I decided I liked the best. I never much cared for the hot cross buns in the bakeries, much of that dislike was around the bun being too sweet and some bakeries would use dried fruit I didn’t like and occasionally it was candied. It definitely put me off hot cross buns, This recipes has an easy technique for making a yeast dough, a nice amount of spices and Ree suggested dried fruit like raisins and cranberries. The resulting bun is terrific and really changes not only my point of view about these Easter treat, but my whole family!
The traditions around hot cross buns are wonderful. In the United States, hot cross buns are part of the tradition for both Good Friday and Easter, while in Great Britain they are primarily Good Friday tradition. Some myths about hot cross buns are if you hang one in your kitchen evil spirits will stay away, if on good Friday you make them sharing them will cement your friendships, the bun can keep ships from sinking and a bun made on Good Friday will never get moldy. That’s a lot from a small little mount of dough!
From by the bay, wishing you little bun food memories!
Hot Cross Buns
Recipe by Ree Drummond, Pioneeer Woman April 1, 2010
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/2 cup Sugar
1 package (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup (additional) Flour
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Spices: Cardamom, Nutmeg, Allspice (optional)
1/2 cup Raisins
1 whole Egg White
Splash Of Milk
1 whole Egg White
Splash Of Milk
Combine 2 cups milk, canola oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan. Stir and heat until very warm but not boiling. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until mixture is still warm, but not hot–about 30 minutes.
Sprinkle yeast over mixture. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover with a towel and set aside for 1 hour.
Add 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir till combined.
Combine 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and whatever other spices you want to use.
Lightly flour surface. Press to slightly flatten dough. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle on about a third of the raisins. Then fold the dough over on itself and flatten again so the dough is “plain” again. Repeat the sugar/raisin process, then fold the dough again. Repeat a third time until all the raisins are used. (You won’t use all the sugar/cinnamon mixture.)
Pinch off ping pong or golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a ball, then turn the edges under themselves slightly. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes…an hour-plus is better.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 degrees
Mix 1 egg white with a splash of milk. Brush onto each roll.
Bake for 20 minutes, give or take, or until tops of buns have turned nice and golden brown.
Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Mix 1 egg white with enough powdered sugar for icing to be very thick. Splash in milk as needed for consistency.
Add icing to a small Ziploc bag and snip the corner. Make icing crosses on each roll, making sure they’re completely cooled first.