Thursday, March 12, 2015

Easter Hot Cross Buns!

AT LAST! We can "see" our front yard! The mountains of snow are finally melting (should be gone by tomorrow), so now we have some very tired-looking grass dotted with lots of little puddles. This is about the only time I don't miss our big German Shepherd, Tasha, who died a few years back - no more tracking in the spring mud! Everything appears a little worse for the wear right now, but, as we all know, that will all change in just a few weeks time. Bulbs will dare to send out their hopeful shoots, the trees will take on a reddish-hue as their leaves bud.... everything will start to awaken from its proverbial winter's nap! Hurrah! It's time to celebrate! 

What better time to start thinking about Easter? Talk about a celebration of LIFE!!! I'll be publishing three differently delicious Easter bread recipes in these weeks prior to the holiday so you can start preparing NOW for your special celebrations. I'm beginning with Hot Cross Buns...... Here's a little history on this now-famous bun: 

The Christian Easter Tradition

Some historians date the origin of “Hot Cross Buns” as an Easter Tradition back to the 12th century. In 1361, an Anglican monk named Father Thomas Rocliffe, was recorded to have made small spiced cakes stamped with the sign of the cross, to be distributed to the poor visiting the monastery at St. Albans on Good Friday, known at that time as the “Day of the Cross.”. According to the scholar Harrowven, the idea proved so popular that he made the buns every year, carefully keeping his bun recipe secret. Traditional hot cross buns contain flour, milk, sugar, butter, eggs, currants and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. The cross on the top may be cut into the bun or made out of pastry strips. In America, the cross is often fashioned out of icing. According to tradition, “Hot Cross Buns” were the only food allowed to be eaten by the faithful on Good Friday. 

(Read more of the history at:

And here's the recipe: 

Hot Cross Buns

¾ Cup warm water
1 Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
3 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. softened butter
1 Tbsp. instant powdered milk
¼ Cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ Cup dried fruit (raisins, currants, golden raisins, etc.)

1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. water

½ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
½ Tbsp. milk

Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.

When dough has risen, punch down and remove from bucket. Let rest 10 minutes. Shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 7x11 ( I'm not sure if these are the exact measurements - it's one slightly smaller than a 9x13) pan. Cover and let rise till pan is “full”.

Mix egg yolk and water. Brush on to tops of rolls. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Remove from pan immediately and cool on baking rack. Stir together icing ingredients, making sure it is not too runny. Place icing in a small sandwich bag – cut off one tip of the bag to use as a decorator’s bag. When rolls are cool, pipe an X on each bun. ENJOY!


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