Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hot Cross Buns

What would Good Friday be without Hot Cross Buns?  For me, it's become a tradition.  It started a number of years back when I went on a Stations of the Cross walk across town with my church at the time.  I remember it being a drizzly Friday and a very moving experience, taking my turn to carry the cross as we paraded along, stopping to read scripture and pray along the way.  The last stop was at our church building.  Some of the ladies at the church were ready for us with Hot Cross Buns and Hot Chocolate, a welcome gift on a rainy BC day.  Since that day Hot Cross Buns have been synonymous with Good Friday.  I have to admit that I've always let the Superstore do the baking for me.  Until this year.
This year my daughter (age 3) and I baked them together.  I grabbed the Pioneer Woman's Recipe because let's face it, if anyone knows how to make Hot Cross Buns it would be her.  The only thing I did differently was the icing.  I used my own sugar cookie icing instead as I had all those ingredients on hand.  It worked just fine. 

Buns Recipe
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup (additional) Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Spices: Cardamom, Nutmeg, Allspice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Raisins   
    Combine 2 cups milk, canola oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan. Stir and heat until very warm but not boiling. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until mixture is still warm, but not hot--about 30 minutes.

    Sprinkle yeast over mixture. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover with a towel and set aside for 1 hour.

    Add 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir till combined.

    Combine 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and whatever other spices you want to use.

    Lightly flour surface. Press to slightly flatten dough. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle on about a third of the raisins. Then fold the dough over on itself and flatten again so the dough is "plain" again. Repeat the sugar/raisin process, then fold the dough again. Repeat a third time until all the raisins are used. (You won't use all the sugar/cinnamon mixture.)

    Pinch off ping pong or golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a ball, then turn the edges under themselves slightly. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 hour-plus is better.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees

    Mix 1 egg white with a splash of milk. Brush onto each roll.
    Bake for 20 minutes, give or take, or until tops of buns have turned nice and golden brown.
    Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.


    1 cup icing sugar
    2 tbsp milk

    Mix the sugar with the milk.  Once mixed, put the icing into a ziplock bag.  snip one of the corners off just a little.  Use the ziplock bag as a pastry bag to pipe the cross on the top of the buns once they are cooled a little.

    *Did you know? 
    Some say sharing  a Hot Cross Bun with someone ensured unbroken friendship for the coming year. You're supposed to say these words: "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be."

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