Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hot Crossed Buns

In honor of Holy Week, I emailed my Ragamuffin Cooking Club friend Phil for his family Hot Crossed Bun recipe. Hot Crossed Buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday with the glazed cross on the buns representing the crucifixion.

Hot Crossed Buns
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup orange juice, divided
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
3-4 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup currants or raisins
6 cup flour, divided

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dissolve yeast in 3/4 cups of warm orange juice (110-115 degrees F). [Phil notes: usually this has to stand until foamy or 5-10 min, but most yeast here is rapid/highly active and this step isn't always necessary]. Add yeast mixture, butter, sugar, eggs, additional 1/2 cup of warm orange juice, orange peel, salt, cinnamon, and 3 cups flour. Beat till smooth.

Add raisins. Stir in remaining flour as needed to form soft dough, which should be a bit stickier than standard bread dough. Knead for six to eight minutes until smooth.

Place in greased bowl, cover, let rise until doubled. Punch dough down and roll into about 22 pieces. Place two inches apart on cookie sheet, cover and let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 min.

After buns cool, mix confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla into a thick paste and frost buns with a simple cross.

And don't forget to sing!

Hot cross buns,
One a penny buns,
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot cross buns.

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