One a penny, two a penny… Hot Cross Buns!

Hot Cross Buns

This week was a long and trying one. My little one is sick with a nasty virus. And after trips to the ER and doctor’s office he’s finally getting better. Amidst all the craziness, I realized that when I am stressed, sad, frustrated, anxious… all I want to do is bake! So I made cross buns, a bit early so that you lovely people could get the recipe to try in time for Good Friday. This is a recipe I created last year, when I was pregnant and wanted cross buns. I don’t even think it was Easter. Anyway, I couldn’t stand the smell of currants so I used some fruits I had soaking in good ole Guyanese rum. Don’t worry, the rum cooks off in the baking process so no harm was done to my unborn. I loved the taste of the cross buns with the fruits that this year I nixed the currants again. I made these cross buns on Monday and today they are all gone… and it’s just me and hubby – who’s asking…”you’re making more for Good Friday, right?” Guess I have to.

Hot Cross Buns… There is no audio in this video (as usual).

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns (makes 12)

1 pkt Active Dry Yeast (1tbsp)
1/4 cup & 1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup mixed fruits or currants or raisins
2 eggs
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup shortening or butter
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg white

Simple Syrup
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place 1 tbsp sugar, yeast and warm water in small mixing bowl. Let stand until yeast ferments (about 5 minutes). Melt butter and add to warm milk. Then whisk in eggs. Add yeast and milk mixture to a stand mixer. Add mixed fruits and mix together on low speed. Sieve flour, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl.Increase mixer speed to medium (number 2 speed) and add flour mixture to the milk and yeast mixture about 1/2 cup at a time until all the flour is combined to form a soft dough. Remove dough from the mixer and knead, on a floured surface, into a tight ball. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until the dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour). When the dough has doubled in size, punch down, then divide into 12 equal pieces (reserving a small piece of dough for the crosses). Knead each piece into a small ball/bun/roll. Then roll out the reserved dough into thin strips. Use strips to form crosses on top of the buns. Place rolls in a greased baking pan and let sit until it doubles in size (30 to 45 mins). Brush rolls with egg white and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with Simple syrup (see below for recipe). Serve hot!

Simple Syrup:
Combine sugar, water and vanilla extract in a small saucepan on high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes then remove from heat.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. If you have a better recipe for hot cross buns, please feel free to share.
2. Some people use simple frosting to make the crosses on the buns. This is how my mom made it when I was little.
3. You can increase the cinnamon and nutmeg if you want a more spiced flavor.
4. There are a few typos in the video (sorry, trying to do this with a sick baby :-()

Happy Cooking!