Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hot Cross Buns

My family loves traditions, especially ones revolving around food :) For Easter, my mom always wants to have hot cross buns for us to enjoy. My girls love them because of the tiny currents inside the sweet bread. I decided I needed to have a good recipe so I can teach my girls to make hot cross buns every Good Friday. I choose this one from The Urban Home-maker because I usually enjoy her recipes and it is fairly healthy. I use honey instead of sugar and use my cream cheese icing instead of the confectioner's sugar icing. YUMMY!

2/3 cup dried currants
3-1/2 to 4 cups whole wheat flour (or half bread flour and half whole wheat
2 TB yeast
1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/3 cup sugar or honey
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 slightly beaten egg white

Frosting (recipe follows)

Cover currants with very hot water. Let stand about 10 minutes or up to one hour at room temperature. Drain well. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and cinnamon. Heat milk, oil, sugar or honey, and salt until warm (115 to 120). Add to the dry mixture. Allow to sponge for about 15 minutes if time allows. Add eggs, one at a time. By hand or mixer, stir in currants and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until the gluten is developed by mixer or on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6-10 minutes.

Shape into ball. Place in greased bowl. Turn once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch down. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Divide into 18 pieces. Form smooth balls. Place on greased baking sheet 1-1/2 inches apart. Cover; let rise until double, 30 to 45 minutes. Cut shallow cross in each. Brush tops with egg white. Bake in preheated 375 oven 12 -15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet. Use confectioner's Frosting to make a "cross" on the bun.

Confectioner's Frosting:

2 TB milk
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine these ingredients together and add milk or water as needed to get a good pouring consistency for the frosting. Place the frosting in a small zip-lock sandwich baggie, clip the corner and use the baggie to squeeze the frosting over the cooled buns in a cross shape.