We normally did not have Hot Cross Buns for Good Friday in Romania. In fact, Good Friday would normally be a fasting day in preparation for Easter. However, my kids are born in the US and, even though we go by the Orthodox calendar, they want to celebrate everything so here we are making Hot Cross Buns.
My kitchen smells absolutely divine and Hot Cross Buns are quite delicious, although I do not have anything to compare it to as I only had the Hot Cross Buns I’ve been making after adapting a recipe I have for the sweet Easter Bread.
Ingredients (for 12 Hot Cross Buns):
- 3 cups flour (500g) + 1/2 cups flour to help work the dough
- 1 cup sugar (150g)
- 2 egg yolks
- 8 TBSP melted butter (1 stick or 110 g)
- 1 cup warm milk (250 ml)
- 1 TBSP dry yeast
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
- lemon zest from 1 lemon
- 1 cup raisins (soaked in hot water with a splash of rum)
- 2 TBSP orange or apricot jam for glazing (optional)
- for the CROSS you will need a paste of flour and water of the consistency icing – about 1/2 cups flour and 8 TBSP water
- 1 egg white to brush the tops of the buns
- Start by soaking the raisins in some hot water and a splash of rum
- Warm the milk and place 1/3 of the milk along with the yeast and 1TBSP of flour + 1 TBSP sugar in the mixing bowl, whisk everything and let it rise for about 10 minutes
- Melt the butter over low heat
- Add the remaining sugar, melted butter, sifted flour, egg yolks, cinnamon and lemon zest to the mixing bowl
- Knead everything by hand or using an electric mixer with the the dough hook. The dough will be soft but not runny and not too sticky. Knead everything until the dough comes together, if you are using an electric mixer turn the dough on a working table and using a little flour work the dough with your hands for a couple minutes.
- Spread the dough with your hands, place the soaked and drained raisins in the middle and wrap the raisins with the dough. Work the dough in the shape of a ball and place it back in the mixing bowl.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes
- Once it doubled in size turn the dough on a lightly floured working surface and knead the dough for a couple minutes to make sure the raisins are evenly distributed.
- Divide the dough into equal pieces (about 12 buns) and shape each piece into a ball.
- Place the buns on a parchment paper in a baking pan
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees F
- Cover the rolls and let them rise until the oven heats up
- Whisk the cross paste and pipe it on top of the buns
- Place the buns in the oven, once they start turning brown brush some egg white on top
- Return to baking until golden brown
- Remove from oven and brush the jam on top.