Easter Recipes from Razzle Dazzle Recipes
Hot Cross Buns
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Hot Cross Buns

1 ( 1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm (about 110 degrees) water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour plus extra for dusting work surface
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped dried fruits (such as apricots and cranberries)

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons milk

Sponge: In a small bowl, stir together yeast, water, sugar and flour. Cover and let sit 10 minutes until bubbly.

Buns: While the yeast proofs, heat milk in a saucepan until just before it comes to a boil. Pour milk into large mixing bowl, then stir in sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and salt. Let cool to lukewarm. When cooled, use a mixer to mix in yeast mixture. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and cinnamon until dough comes away from the bowl (2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups flour).

Scrape dough onto a floured work surface. Knead in dried fruits, adding enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your hands. Knead about 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

Form dough into a ball and place in a large lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down with your fist, form into a log shape and divide into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Cover and let rise again for about 45 minutes until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Snip a cross onto the top of each bun with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.

Icing: In a bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and enough milk to make a thick, but drizzling consistency icing. Drizzle icing over cooled buns in a cross shape.

Variation: To prepare ahead of time, make the dough a day ahead. Let it rise once, then punch down and divide into balls. Place balls in a zipper-top bag in the refrigerator. The next morning, place them on baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Bake and ice as directed.

The dough has risen enough when 2 fingers inserted into it leave indentations. If it springs back immediately, cover and let it rise a little longer.

Makes 12 servings.


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