Easy Hot Cross Buns
Recipe from Susan Nye's Around the Table
Number of Servings
Makes about 12 to 14 buns
1/4 c. apple juice or rum
1/2 c. mixed dried fruit
1/2 c. raisins or dried currants
1 1/4 c. milk, room temperature
3 large eggs, 1 separated
6 T. butter, room temperature
2 tsp. instant yeast
1/4 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves or allspice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
4 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg white, reserved from above
1 T. milk
1 c. plus 2 T. confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 tsp. milk, or enough to make a thick, pipeable icing
Preparation - Directions
Lightly grease a 10" square pan or 9" x 13" pan.
Mix rum or apple juice with dried fruit and raisins; cover and microwave briefly just until the fruit and liquid are very warm. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
When the fruit is cool, mix together all of the dough ingredients except the fruit, and knead, using an electric mixer or bread machine, until the dough is soft and elastic. Mix in fruit and any liquid not absorbed.
Let the dough rise for an hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk.
Divide the dough into billiard ball-sized pieces. A heaped muffin scoop (about 1/3 cup) makes about the right portion. You'll make 12 to 14 buns. Use your greased hands to round them into balls. Arrange them in the prepared pan.
Cover pan and let buns rise for an hour, or until they've puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it over the buns.
Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.Mix together icing ingredients, and when the buns are completely cool, pipe a cross shape atop each bun. (This recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour)