Hot Cross Buns Recipe

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I have fond memories of hot cross buns. My grandma would make them. In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the Crucifixion. (Read History)

 

Ingredients

Buns

 

1/4 cup apple juice or rum
1/2 cup mixed dried fruit
1/2 cup raisins or dried currants
1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature
3 large eggs, 1 separated
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Topping

1 large egg white, reserved from above
1 tablespoon milk

Icing

1 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 teaspoons milk, or enough to make a thick, pipeable icing

1) Lightly grease a 10″ square pan or 9″ x 13″ pan.

2) Mix the rum or apple juice with the dried fruit and raisins, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave briefly, just till the fruit and liquid are very warm, and the plastic starts to “shrink wrap” itself over the top of the bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Note: If you worry about using plastic wrap in your microwave, simply cover the bowl with a glass lid.

3) When the fruit is cool, mix together all of the dough ingredients except the fruit, and knead, using an electric mixer or bread machine, till the dough is soft and elastic. Mix in the fruit and any liquid not absorbed.

4) Let the dough rise for 1 hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk.

5) Divide the dough into billiard ball-sized pieces, about 3 3/4 ounces each. 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.

6) Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for 1 hour, or until they’ve puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.

7) Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it over the buns.

8) Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove from the oven, and transfer to a rack to cool.

9) Mix together the icing ingredients, and when the buns are completely cool, pipe it in a cross shape atop each bun.

Recipe from Kingarthurflour.com

MCCN Staff Talk Easter Food Traditions

Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor– To the best of my recollection hot cross buns stand out for me.  They were sort of different and it never really dawned on me about the religious signifigance.  They were neat looking.  As for the taste, it was somewhere between a pastry and sweet bread.

Chef Jay Bonilla, En La Cocina Para Mi Amor- Host– In Honduras we don’t celebrate Easter as you do here, it is a time for reflection because it is when Jesus died, and Friday we eat dried fish soup because we are not supposed to eat meat.

Monica Johnson, MCCN Associate Editor– I don’t really have a favorite meal, but I do remember making Easter Eggs…boiling them, dying them and then decorating them was a lot of fun. Afterwards, I would put it in my big straw Easter basket. The thing I anticipated most was eating the big chocolate bunny that I got faithfully every year. I’m really thankful for those memories.

Micheal Fusco, MCCN Film Critic “Film and Foodie”-

My aunt makes an amazing potato, onion, and cheese casserole. We have it every year.

 
 
Sunni Boswell, Asian Express Host -Easter time was a time for traditional midwest feast of delicious glazed ham directly from a butcher.  Festooned with pineapple slices and cherries carefully arranged on the cross-hatched surface. All golden brown and soooo delicious. Decadant scalloped potatoes with three cheeses and onions, a crunchy delicious cucumber and onion salad and roasted tomatoes. Hardly Asian, but always delicious
and mouth watering. And, of course, a bowlful of colorful decorated Easter Eggs and chocolates!! As well as fresh cut flowers in crystal on table along with crisp linens.

 
 
 
Catrina K. Sally, MCCN Food History Managing Editor-Banana Pudding does that count as a dish? Whenever I made it I always ate more cookies than I put in the dish!
http://mywoodenspoon.com/grandmas-homemade-banana-pudding
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carla Crudup, Make Yourself Comfortable American Style- Host: I can remember smelling the buttery homemade yeast dinner rolls rising and baking, fresh green beans cooking and helping to make the potato salad. The glazed ham baking in the oven also brings backs great holiday memories that was garnished with cloves, brown sugar and pineapple.  We always had a second entree that was either prime rib, salmon or a rack of lamb. My mom was very diligent and passionate about decorating for the holidays and made easter baskets for everyone. I can recall the bunny napkin rings that graced the table that had been decorated with china and crystal. Pots of fresh lillies, daffodils and tulips were placed outside of the home… My parents always emphasized the reason for the celebration of Easter.
 
 
 
HAPPY EASTER!