Monday, April 1, 2013

Hot Cross Buns

Happy Easter!  Just a day late!

I'm usually just a little behind the 8-ball.  Today is no exception.

Saturday we made hot cross buns for Easter. It was fun!I think this is the third year we've made them.  They were never a tradition in our house when I was growing up, but now that I've discovered them, we'll be making them every year, time permitting.

I use the Pioneer Woman's recipe, just slightly tweaked.  First, I use the whole cinnamon roll dough recipe, instead of half.  Because, really, the half recipe only makes two dozen or so buns, and for all that work, it's not enough.  Just being honest.

Second, I use currants instead of raisins.  The first year I used raisins because I could not find currants anywhere.  It was bizarre. But the past two years our grocery store has carried SunMaid Zante currants, which are lovely.

Third, I use the cinnamon called for in the recipe, plus one teaspoon (heaping) cardamom and a heavy pinch of ground cloves.  Mmmm...spicy.

Anyhoo, start by mixing up the dough as per the Pioneer Woman's instructions.  I made the dough the day before and left it in the fridge overnight.  If you do that, keep an eye on it.  When I got home from work (2 a.m.) and checked on it, the dough was about to overflow the giant bowl it was sitting in.  I punched it down firmly and went to bed.

The next day, it had risen again (kind of appropriate for Easter, huh?) and looked like this:

(Again, that's a really big bowl.)

To make hot cross buns, mix the sugar and spices together and set aside. Measure out the currants and set aside.

Flour your workstation and get to rolling!  And here's where I flaked out and stopped taking pictures. I guess I was caught up in the moment. But roll the dough, not too thin and sprinkle on a third of the sugar mixture and a third of the currants.  Fold the dough in half and roll lightly to flatten it out.  Sprinkle on the second third of sugar and currants.  Fold the dough in half and roll lightly to flatten.  Repeat this process one more time.

And here's where I remembered to start taking pictures again.  I used my bench scraper to cut slices of dough, then cut the slices into squares.  I may be slightly OCD.  Carefully form the squares into golf ball pulling and stretching the dough from the top and tucking it under.  The finished product looks nicer if you can hide all the good stuff inside.

My helper had a great time. Messy hair and all.

Let the buns rise for another hour, brush the tops with beaten egg white mixed with a little milk and pop them into a 400 oven for about 15 minutes.  Mine took 14 minutes exactly, but the original recipe calls for 20.  So do whatever works for you.  You'll smell them when they're ready.  I wish I could blog the smell.  Heavenly!

Here they are fresh out of the oven.  Do you see the girl's?

She may have had a little trouble with the tucking under.  But she did a good job!

The full recipe made just over 4 dozen.  The kids and I may have eaten the extras.  The boy told me that fresh baked bread is the best thing in the world.  I had to agree.

I made the royal icing the Pioneer Woman uses, the kind with a real egg white. It's really, really good.  If you feel like living on the edge, you should try it sometime. Unfortunately, the recipe with one egg only made enough icing for 3 dozen buns.  And I really didn't want leftovers.  Fortunately, I just *happened* to have some leftover white royal icing in the fridge. So I used that on the last dozen.  Honestly, if I'd remembered it sooner, I would have used it on all of them.

Well, that's all for today.  Hope everyone had a joyous and blessed Easter!



  1. These sound delicious. I have never made Hot Cross Buns nor the PW Cinnamon Buns. I will have to make both soon.

    1. I really can't recommend them highly enough! :-)

  2. Those look delish! Also, I totally know what you mean about doing so much work and wanting more output. Just making it count right! ;)

    1. Exactly my point! There's no point in slaving for hours for just a few treats! I want enough to give to all my friends and family!

  3. THREE years later (can you tell I just found you?) Just wondering why you preferred the royal icing? Also, did you freeze any and if so, how did that work out? Thanks.

    1. Welcome to the blog! You know, the royal icing just tasted better with the fresh egg instead of meringue powder. They do freeze just fine. 😄 I just leave them on the counter for a few minutes to thaw.