I have probably only had hot cross buns once or twice in my life, and I don’t remember thinking they were all that great. For a large portion of my childhood, no baked good was worth eating unless it had chocolate or frosting, so the idea of a bun with raisins and candied citrus peel didn’t excite me at all.
I think I may have matured slightly, though, because when I saw that my Adopt-A-Blogger match, Wizzy, made some great looking Hot Cross Buns (and some adorable bunny buns as well) and I decided it was time to give them another shot.
I probably don’t even need to mention that I used white whole wheat flour. But I did, and as always I love the result. I also didn’t find candied citrus peel, so I just used a teaspoon of orange zest and it imparted a nice citrus undertone. I also added vanilla, because I think it makes most sweet things taste even sweeter. I also halved the recipe, so the ingredients call for 1/2 an egg. I just lightly beat an egg, eyeball half, and save the other half for something else.
I guess I’m a day late with these, since hot cross buns are usually eaten on Good Friday, but I think they’d be perfect any time!
(adapted from Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Punch)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
3/8 cup warm milk
1/4 cup milk at room temperature
1/6 cup butter, melted
1/2 an egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat or all purpose flour
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1/8 tsp allspice
1/3 cup raisins
Flour Paste Crosses:
1/4 cup flour
6 tbsp water water
1 tbs granulated sugar
1/3 cup warm water
Stir the warm milk, yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar together in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes, or until foamy.
Stir in the room temperature milk, melted butter,egg and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, vital wheat gluten, sugar, salt, nutmeg, allspice, and orange zest. Add the raisins and stir to combine. Add to the milk mixture and stir until dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise about one and a half hours, or until doubled.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 8″ square cake pan. Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Arrange in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise for 30 minutes.
Mix the remaining flour and water together in a small bowl until a smooth paste forms. Place in a small plastic bag and snip off the end. Pipe crosses onto the buns. Combine the sugar and warm water to make a glaze, and brush evenly over the buns.
Bake for 10 minutes at 375 F, then turn the oven down to 325°F to bake for another 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through (buns are ready when they sound hollow when tapped on the base).