Friday, March 29, 2013

Hot Cross Buns

We went up to church this afternoon so that Travis could make hot cross buns with the Youth (well, two of the Youth). The buns were ordered in advance, and will be picked up tonight after the service or on Saturday, and are another fund raiser for the kids' summer mission trip to Maine. My sweet mom made a couple batches of dough, and I made some dough, and the kids just had to form the buns, bake, and decorate!

 Dividing up the dough and forming buns...

 Buns rising in the sunshine (you can almost see the daffodils through the window!).

Egg wash, for that pretty shiny finish!

 Almost finished buns. They will be packaged with packets of icing, to avoid the problem of icing getting stickiness all over the bags.

The first  dozen got too dark on the bottom, so they became our "taste" batch. And, burned bottoms aside, they were fabulous!

Katie came too, and I did think she might be able to help, even though she is not old enough for the trip, but I was wrong. She was bored and a little cranky, but towards the end she did get to play Banangrams with the older girls and showed them up in a very satisfactory sort of way. That lifted her spirits quite a bit.

And here is the recipe! It started with a recipe from the Food Network, but we made some changes.

Hot Cross Buns

1/2 c. warm water  and  1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
4 1/2 tsp yeast
1/3 c. melted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried lemon peel
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 c. currants and 1/2 c. raisins, both simmered in apple juice and a generous dash of rum until plump (then cooled)

1 egg beaten for brushing on before baking

2 c. sifted confectioners' sugar
2 Tbl. milk
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat milk & water over low heat on stove top to about 100 degrees F -- just warm. Remove from heat & sprinkle with the yeast, a pinch of sugar, and a pinch of flour. Allow to sit without stirring for 20-30 min., until nicely foamy.

Whisk butter, egg yolk, and vanilla into yeast mixture.

Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon peel, and ginger.  Put butter, etc. yeast mixture into large bowl of mixer (or, of course, you could do this by hand) and slowly add in dry mixture. I ended up adding around 3/4 c. more flour to this to make a fairly soft dough. Knead for 8 minutes or so, until it looks right.

You can add the raisins and currants while the dough is in the mixer, but I found it easier to knead them in by hand, on the counter. Generously flour the counter, spread the dough out a bit, and put on the fruit. Knead it in, adding flour as necessary, until all the currents & raisins are nicely distributed.

Now, put your lovely, fruit-studded dough ball into an oiled bowl, cover,  and allow to rise for an hour or so.

Butter a cooking sheet or baking stone. Divide up your dough into a dozen pieces and form into nice round little rolls. Cover again and allow to rise  about 45 minutes.

Heat over to 375 degrees F.

Brush with beaten egg. Gently cut a cross in the top of each roll.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until beautifully golden brown. Cool on rack. When cool, ice buns generously along cross. Yum!

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