Monday, April 7, 2014

Hot Cross Buns

So, is it wrong to mess with tradition?  I mean, putting you own twist on it is one thing but completely omitting things that some say, and surely are, imperative to a dish, is another.  Should I be proud that I did both?

There are as many recipes for "Hot Cross Buns" as there are people who love them.  My husband said in England he doesn't recall them having anything in them.  No dried or candied fruits, currants, raisins, citron, etc.  But I know that is traditional.  I read that in Australia and New Zealand, they do chocolate chips, YUM.  Well I decided to omit all of that.  In fact I even omitted some likely important spices.  No cloves for this girl, and no ginger either.  Cinnamon seems pretty traditional but I didn't want to feel like it was just another kind of cinnamon roll, so I threw that to the wind as well!

These look hard, but they aren't, so give them a try, they are definitely delish.  Share some with a friend, I hear that is good luck for your friendship!

I wrote this in the order of how I made it.  All ingredients are in bold purple.  Go for it!  Get your Hot Cross Buns on!

1/2 cup milk, heated to approx. 110-112 degrees F
1/2 cup flour
1 packet active dry yeast

Mix flour and yeast into heated milk.  Let sit for 10 minutes until it becomes slightly foamy. 

In a large mixing/stand mixer bowl combine:

1 2/3 all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup butter that has been cubed and then brought to room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
yeast mixture
1 egg (egg wash)

Mix all ingredients, except yeast mixture, with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until combined.  When it is mixed, add in yeast mixture and egg and continue to mix until you get a dough.  Using your dough hook or hands, knead for 2 minutes, until a smooth ball of dough is achieved.  (did I just really use the word "achieved" in a recipe? YUCK!)

Butter a large bowl and place dough inside, flipping it a couple of times to coat the entire ball of dough.  Cover and let sit in a warm place approx. 1-1 1/2 hours until it is doubled in size.

Remove dough on to your counter and divide into 12 equal parts.  I rolled it into a log to do this, it just made it easier.  Roll each of your 12 pieces into a ball and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Using scissors or a knife, cut a cross into the top of each one.   Cover with a towel and let raise another 30-45 minutes. Beat one egg with a splash of water and brush over the tops and sides of the rolls.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.  WHILE THAT IS HAPPENING....

In a teeny weeny saucepan heat together

3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. water

Bring to a bubble and set aside.

When the roll are done, IMMEDIATELY use a pastry brush and dab all of the tops with the simple syrup mixture.  Let cool 15 minutes before icing!

2/3 cup powdered sugar
1-3 tsp milk

Mix this together until you get a thick icing that you can easily pipe onto the buns!  I used a small tip in my pastry bag but you could use a simple Ziploc as well to pipe a cross on top.

I hope you enjoy these NON-traditional hot cross buns, and make them for your Easter dinner!

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