Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hot Cross Buns

With Easter on it's way,I've been thinking about different blog ideas.I've seen this recipe over the years from Martha Stewart,and decided to give it a whirl today.So glad I did,because they came out great!I get a bit anxious at times when making bread ,as I don't often do well with yeast,but I followed the recipe(except for the currants) ,and was quite happy with the results.These are a mix between a pastry & bread.As a matter of fact,I am thinking that the dough might also be great as the base for a cheese danish,so be on the lookout for that one!

1-1/2 sticks of butter,melted & cooled
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
2   1/4 oz. envelopes of active dry yeast(4-1/2 tsp)
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 eggs
5-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1-1/3 c. currants(optional)
  -Butter a large bowl.Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it reaches 110 degrees.Pour it into the bowl of your mixer,and add the yeast, butter,sugar,cinnamon,nutmeg,salt and eggs.Mix in the flour ,1 cup at a time.The dough will form around the dough hook.Continue mixing for another 4 minutes.The dough should be smooth.
If using currants,add them now.
  Turn the dough out onto a well-floured area.Knead until the currants are spread throughout the dough.If not using currants,just knead for about 2 minutes.Place in the large buttered bowl,turn once,then cover tightly with plastic wrap.Place in a warm area,free of drafts.Let rise until doubled in size,about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

  Butter a 11 x 17 inch jellyroll pan(baking sheet).Turn the dough onto a floured work surface again, and knead a few times.Divide the dough into 24 pieces.Form each piece into rounds and place on the baking sheet about an inch away from each other.Cover loosely with plastic wrap,and let rise again for one hour.

  Once they have risen,use a knife or kitchen shears to mark each bun with a cross pattern. Whisk together 1 egg white,1 tsp. of water and a dash of salt.Lightly brush the mixture over each bun.Place in a 375 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes.Rotate the pan,and bake until golden brown,about another 8-15 minutes.Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.Pipe the icing over each bun.Enjoy!

2 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
   Whisk together,add a few extra drops of milk if necessary.Place into a pastry bag fitted with a circle tip,or into a squeeze bottle.....make a cross pattern with the icing on each bun.

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