Monday, April 9, 2012

Hot Cross Buns

Happy Easter! Yesteday, I actually went to church as my carpool buddy had invited me to her's. After church, I went over to her house with her family where we had a great Easter lunch. It turned out to be a very Thanksgiving-like menu, but still tasted very good. For dessert, I made Hot Cross Buns.

Last year, I had also made Hot Cross Buns, but it didn't turn out well. Inexperienced with yeast, I made a lot of mistakes and the bread ended up dense and tough, though it did have tasty flavors. I went for a different recipe this time, but I still made a mistake. So the recipe says to use 4 tsp allspice. It seemed like a lot, but it didn't seem too bad when I mixed it with the flour, but then the dough ended up a light brown color instead of being a regular dough color. Yeah, definitely too much allspice. I guess I technically didn't make a mistake, but I should have followed my instinct and used less allspice. Fresh out of the oven, these buns were so soft and tender.

Hot Cross Buns

Next year, I might try another recipe or I might combine this year's and last year's recipes. Instead of just raisins, I might do half dried cranberries. Instead of just lemon zest, maybe I'll add orange zest too. Definitely need to watch out for the allspice! I'm not sure what amount would work best, but I'm also not a fan of allspice so maybe 1/4 to 1/2 tsp would work. Well, I've got plenty of time to think about that...

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns
From Adventuress Heart

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup warm milk (100F)
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water
1 tsp milk and 3 - 4 tbsp powdered sugar

Heat milk to 100ยบ F and dissolve yeast in milk for 10 minutes, until mixture is foamy.

Meanwhile, mix 3 cups of flour, sugar, spices, zest and salt in a stand mixer. Add yeast mixture and mix until combine. Add eggs one at a time until combined. Add softened butter. Mix until dough is smooth and elastic. Add remaining flour if dough is too sticky. Knead dough by hand and mix in dried fruit.

Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

Punch down risen dough and divide into 12 equal pieces, rolling each piece into a ball. Place dough pieces on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another two hours.

Preheat oven to 375F. Remove plastic wrap from buns and score the tops of each bun with a cross shape, about 1/4-inch deep. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Allow to cool completely before drizzling a cross shape with glaze on the tops of each bun.

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