Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hot Cross Buns - week 14 of 52

Hot Cross Buns – Week 15 of 52

Happy Easter everyone! This week I wanted to make Hot Cross Buns for Easter and make a yeast bread successfully to recover from the cinnamon bun experience (see week 5).

Did you know : A hot cross bun is a sweet, yeast-leavened, spiced bun made with currants or raisins and candied citrus fruits or lemon zest, marked with a cross on the top. The cross can be made a number of different ways including: of pastry; flour and water mixture; rice paper; icing; two intersecting cuts. They are traditionally eaten at Easter. In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross representing a symbol of The Crucifixion. Thank you Wikipedia – I had no idea!

The recipe is another one from Canadian Living. This time, I am happy to say that the recipe worked out great! Since week 5, I’ve been a little nervous to try another yeast recipe, because of the unsuccessful attempt at cinnamons. To my co-workers and friends who ate tea biscuit-like cinnamon buns, I am sorry! I think the cinnamon buns didn’t work out because it wasn’t quite warm enough for the dough to rise - thanks for the tip Heather G! This time, I warmed up my oven a little bit and then turned it off and put the dough in there for the first proof (proofing means to allow the bread dough to rise). After an hour, I the dough had risen to twice it’s size. Success! I really think the warm oven did the trick!

I changed the recipe a little bit because I like my hot cross buns with extra fruit – I added about ¾ cup of currents and ½ cup of the fruit.

Bonne appétit!

Nursery school rhyme:
Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns

Hot Cross Buns - makes 9-12 buns



1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) warm water
1 pkg (15ml) active dry yeast
3-1/2 cups (875 mL) all purpose flour
2 tbsp (25 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) nutmeg
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
3/4 cup (175 mL) milk, warmed
1/4 cup (50 mL) melted butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried currants
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped candied peel, mixed

2 tbsp (25 mL) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) water


1/2 cup (125 mL) icing sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) water


In small bowl, dissolve 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. Meanwhile, in large bowl, blend together remaining sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves; make well in center. Whisk together milk, butter, egg and egg yolk; pour into well. Pour in yeast mixture. With wooden spoon, stir until soft dough forms.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; knead for 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough; turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in currants and peel. Shape into 12-inch (30 cm) log; with serrated knife, cut into 9 pieces, Shape each into ball, stretching and pinching dough underneath to make tops smooth. Place 2 inches (5 cm) apart on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes. Bake in center of 400ºF (200ºC) oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Glaze: In saucepan, stir sugar with water over medium heat until dissolved; brush over buns. Let cool in pan.

Icing: Stir icing sugar with water. Using piping bag fitted with round tip, pipe cross on top of each cooled bun.

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