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Hot Cross Buns

Courses: Breads
Serves: 18 people

Recipe Ingredients

1 1/4 cups 296mlLukewarm milk - (110 degrees)
2 1/4 teaspoons 11mlActive dry yeast - (1 pkg)
3 1/2 cups 218g / 7.7ozUnbleached bread flour - to 4 cups
1 teaspoon 5mlSalt
3 tablespoons 45mlGolden-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlGround nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlGround cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon 1.3mlGround cloves
1/4 teaspoon 1.3mlGround allspice
2   Eggs - room temperature
3 tablespoons 45mlUnsalted butter - at room temperature,
  And cut into small pieces
1/2 cup 31g / 1.1ozDried currants
1/2 cup 80g / 2.8ozGolden raisins (sultanas)
1/4 cup 59mlMilk - and
1/2 cup 99g / 3.5ozSugar - heated to bubbling

Recipe Instructions

Pour the lukewarm milk into a small bowl and whisk in the yeast and 1/2 cup of the flour. Let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine 3 cups of the flour, the salt, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Stir in the yeast mixture. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the butter.

Knead by hand or with a dough hook, adding flour as necessary. Knead by hand until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes; knead by hook until dough is not sticky and pulls cleanly from the bowl sides, 6 to 7 minutes. The dough will be soft.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a clean, greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and press flat. Scatter the currants and raisins over the dough. Fold in half, then knead to distribute the fruits. Dust lightly with flour and let rest for 10 minutes.

Grease and flour a baking sheet. On the work surface, roll the dough into a log 9 inches long. Cut into 18 equal pieces. Knead each piece into a ball. Arrange the balls, well spaced, on the prepared sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.

Place a shallow pan of boiling water on the oven floor. Using a sharp knife, slash a cross 1/2-inch deep on each bun. Bake until golden-brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the buns to a wire rack and immediately brush with the hot glaze. Serve slightly warm.

This recipe yields 18 buns.

WILLIAMS-SONOMA BREADS General editor Chuck Williams - Recipes by Jacqueline Mallorca (c) 1996 - Time-Life Books, Alexandria, VA - 108 pages - $18.95 - As reprinted in the Mar/Apr, 1997 issue of Cookbook Digest


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