ADVENTURES IN BREAD MAKING: HOT CROSS BUNS

Hot Cross Buns
Easter is right around the corner, which means hot cross buns and challah french toast. Okay, perhaps those two bread-y indulgences are only slightly related, but when I think of the holiday I think of those... And mini eggs... And peeps. Hot cross buns were one of the first baked goods I ever made, and were the first type of bread that I made without the help of a bread-machine. For that, they have a bit of a soft spot in my heart.

For these, I used a Martha Stewart recipe slightly adapted. I think that hot cross buns are not compete without the raisins, but I know that some (ahem, my brother) would disagree. What does not find itself in here are those candied fruits that supermarket versions like to put in because, blegh. To please the masses, I split the dough in two and made half with and half without the raisins. I also swapped the all-purpose flour out for whole wheat in equal ratios and had no problems. The crosses are made with a cream cheese icing as opposed to just confectioners sugar because, well, it's just better.

Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns

HOT CROSS BUNS // Makes 24 buns
Recipe from Martha Stewart.

1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup milk
4 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cups raisins
1 large egg white

1/2 package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 tsp lemon juice

Heat milk until warm, but not boiling. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, milk, yeast, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggs. Fit mixer with dough hook. Add flour one cup at a time. Continue to knead until smooth, approximately 5 minutes.

If making buns with and without raisins, separate dough into two rounds. Add raisins to one bowl and knead until distributed. Butter, spray, or coat both bowls with oil. Coat dough in the oil, and cover the bowls. Allow to rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 hours. Roll out dough into a log and cut into sections to make 24 rounds. Roll into a bun shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. With a sharp knife or scissors, slice a cross into the top of the buns. Wash buns with a mixture of egg white and water. Allow to rise for another hour.

Heat one to 375F. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

To make the cream cheese icing, combine cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. When the buns have cooled slightly, pipe crosses into their tops.

This post first appeared on with wanderlust.
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