Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hot Cross Buns

These sweet, slightly spicy rolls are traditionally served at Easter time, and this is a really good recipe for them! The Cinnamon and Nutmeg mix with Lemon Zest and Currants to give these buns a festive, old-fashioned holiday taste.

2 2/3 Cups All-purpose flour (have more on hand incase you need it)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup currants
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Egg

Mix the instant yeast into the flour and stir well.

Warm the milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave until it is very warm but not HOT. Put the milk, sugar, butter, salt, spices and lemon zest into a mixer bowl and mix well. Add the egg and mix on low until blended (this is why you do not want the milk HOT - it will curdle the egg). Add half of the flour a little at a time. Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and knead in the rest of the flour (additional flour may be needed at this point if it is too sticky. Use only enough to handle the dough easily without sticking). When the dough feels smooth,  place it in a greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place (I put mine in the unheated oven with the light on) until doubled in size, about one hour.

In the last 20 minutes of rise time, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 

After the dough has risen, shape it into small balls and place them on a greased cookie sheet. (Don't make them too big - you should get 16-18 balls.) Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes.  After rising, brush with milk or butter to help them brown. Bake until golden, about 13-16 minutes.

When they have cooled, decorate them with a cross made from milk glaze: 1/2 Cup Confectioner's Sugar + 2 teaspoons milk.

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