Hot Cross Buns

Just in time for Good Friday and Easter! Or anytime really, It’s always a good time for Hot Cross Buns. This is a truly Heavenly tasting treat. So much better than those dry, bland, tasteless store bought buns. These buns are moist, flavorful, and lightly sweet. A little time consuming to make, but oh so worth it!

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Ingredients:

1 ½ cups warm Milk

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Ready for second rise

1 packet Active Dry Yeast
½ cup Cane Sugar
4 cups All-Purpose Flour
Zest of one whole Orange
½ tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/3 tsp. Allspice
¼ tsp. Nutmeg
2 Eggs
4 Tbs. Butter, softened

 

*1 cup Raisins, soaked in Rum (Or, as I used, a mixture of raisins, dried apricots and dried cranberries)

For Glaze:   

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glazed buns

¼ cup Water
¼ cup Cane Sugar
2 Tbs. fresh squeezed Orange juice

For Cream Cheese Icing:

½ cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tbs. Cream Cheese
1 Tbs. butter, softened
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
½ Tbs. Water

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine milk, sugar and yeast. Stir and let rest for about 10 minutes, until the mixture starts to bubble and foam. Attach the dough hook to your mixer. In the bowl of your mixer, add the 4 cups of flour, salt, spices and orange zest. Mix until combined. Add the eggs and butter to the yeast mixture and stir. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour mixture and mix the ingredients on medium low speed for about 5 minutes. Add dried fruit and mix for another minute until well combined. If the dough is too wet, add some more flour, enough so the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. In a separate large bowl, add a tablespoon of melted coconut oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly and completely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for up to 2 hours, until it has doubled in size. I’ve found the best way to let the dough rise is to turn on the oven to preheat, but only allow the oven to preheat for a total of one minute. Then, turn it off, and place the bowl with dough inside and close the oven door. You may need to turn the oven light on toward the end of rising. This will help increase the oven temperature just enough to finish the rising.

After the dough has risen to double in size, remove from the oven. Next, preheat the oven to 375⁰ F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Find a clean work surface (a kitchen counter will do), and lightly sprinkle it with flour. Cut the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each one into the shape of a ball. Place the rolls on the pan, cover with a clean, damp, and thin towel, preferably a tea towel. Allow the rolls to rest for 30 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. While the buns are baking make the syrup by mixing sugar, water and orange juice in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over low heat. Continue boiling until the syrup slightly thickens, and set it aside. To make the icing, whisk all ingredients together and pour into a piping bag, or a sandwich size zip lock bag. Next, refrigerate until ready to use. When the buns are out of the oven, brush with the syrup. Let cool for 15 minutes, then snip off the corner of the plastic bag, if using, and pipe the icing over the buns to form a cross.

*Rum soaked raisins/dried fruit: Soak 1 cup of raisins or dried fruit mixture in ½- 1 cup light or dark Rum (I use Meyers’s Original Dark Rum) for at least 8 hours in a jar with a tight fitting lid. I invert the jar every couple of hours for better absorption.  Drain any remaining rum.

 

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