The Tradition Of Hot Cross Buns
Traditionally eaten on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent, these plushy and slightly spiced breads studded with currants inside and drizzled with icing on top hold deep religious significance for Christians who observe the Holy Week. But hot cross buns can be a treat to make and eat any time of year, and they’re perfect for breakfast.
How To Make Hot Cross Buns
We make our version with plump currants, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a bit of lemon zest to brighten the warm spices. For a darker roll, you can make your egg wash with an egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water instead of using a whole egg; for a lighter roll, use only the egg white. After baking, the signature cross is just a simple powdered sugar glaze. Once decorated, you can eat warm or store in the freezer for a delish roll anytime you’d like!
Egg wash, for brushing
- In a medium bowl, combine milk, yeast and a pinch of sugar. Let sit, without stirring, until foamy, about 20 minutes. Whisk butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is a thick, shaggy dough. Stir in currants.
- Turn the dough onto a heavily floured surface and knead until the dough is soft and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a large ball.
- Grease the inside of a large bowl with butter and put the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
- When the dough is ready to form into rolls, butter a 9”-x-13” baking pan. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a large rectangle. Divide the dough into 12 portions with a sharp knife or pizza wheel.
- Shape each piece into a roll, tucking the edges under, and place each roll seam side-down into the butter pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the rolls have doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- After the second rise, preheat oven to 375°. Brush tops of buns with egg wash. Bake until golden and puffy, 22 to 25 minutes.
- Make glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and lemon zest until smooth. Transfer to a medium resealable plastic bag and make a small cut in the corner of the bag. Pipe a thick cross shape over each bun. Serve warm or at room temperature.
SOURCE: Delish, Lauren Miyashiro