I have always loved hot cross buns. They are great for breakfast, for dessert, at tea, or even for lunch with a slice of sharp cheddar. I love making my own, because they taste so much better than the ones you buy in the store. I found this recipe years ago in a Canadian Living Easter issue and although they didn't turn out that time, they tasted so good, I kept the recipe (I knew it was me anyway).
I've adapted this recipe somewhat, adding more spice and much more fruit, as to me it's the best part. The original recipe had twice as much currants as fruit and I flipped it around.
I ALWAYS use a candy thermometer and bring the water to 110°F. I've had too many hockey puck hot cross buns not to.
I didn't take a picture of the kneaded dough, but I simply placed some plastic wrap over the mixing pot and set it in the oven with the light on for an hour. It doesn't necessarily double in size, but it does get bigger.
Sprinkle the counter with some flour; place the dough on it and flatten it out some. Then dump the candied fruit and currants on top. Fold the dough over and knead in the fruit; adding more flour as it begins to stick.
Be careful not to over glaze, or they'll become soggy, especially if you leave them in a glass pan and cover them (learn from my mistakes).
The scent of these baking and cooling is heavenly. Even if they turn out like hockey pucks as my first attempt did, they were so good, we ate them anyway. I may be better at making them nowadays, but I'm still not good at resisting them.
Just looking at these I am craving the taste! I'm glad I have some in the freezer!
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Hot Cross Buns
Adapted from The Canadian Living Test Kitchen recipe
These spicy, jewel-studded sweetbread treats are my favourite Easter tradition. Although a British tradition, they cross-over (pun intended) to many cultures and traditions.
2/3 1/2cup cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1/3 1/4cup (50 mL) warm water (best result: 110°F, use a candy thermometer to test)
1 tbsp pkg (15ml)active dry yeast
5 3-1/2cups cups (875 mL) all purpose flour
3 tbsp (25 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) nutmeg
1 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 1/4tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
1 3/4cup cup (175 mL) milk, warmed
1/3 1/4cup (50 mL) melted butter
1 1/2cup cup candied fruit, chopped (125 mL) canc
1/2 1/4cup dried currants(50 mL)
3 2tbsp tbsp (25 mL) granulated sugar
3 2tbsp tbsp(25 mL) water
2/3 1/2cup (125 mL) icing sugar
2 2tbsp (10 mL) water
In small bowl, dissolve 1 tbsp of the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. Meanwhile, in stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, blend together remaining sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. Whisk together milk, butter, egg and egg yolk; pour into bowl. Pour in yeast mixture. Stir until soft dough forms.
Switch to bread attachment; 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 in half and then each half into 6 pieces, Shape each into ball, stretching and pinching dough underneath to make tops smooth. Place side-by-side in a greased baking dish, or separate on a cookie sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes. Bake in centre of 400°F oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Glaze: In saucepan, stir sugar with water over medium heat until dissolved; brush just enough to lightly cover buns. Let cool in pan.
Icing: Stir icing sugar with water. Using piping bag fitted with round tip (or rig up your own), pipe a cross on top of each cooled bun.
Printable Hot Cross Buns