Friday, April 2, 2010
Happy Easter everyone! We have 4 day weekend ahead! All the more time and excuse to bake. I'm so excited! These buns were a kick-off to my long weekend. There's nothing
According to the Oxford Companion to Food, marking a cross on the bun is of ancient origin and bread is often associated with religious offerings. The Egyptians offered small round cakes, marked with a representation of the horns of an ox, to the goddess of the moon. The Saxons ate buns marked with a cross in honour of the goddess of light, Eostre, whose name was transferred to Easter. Today, the cross on the bun is associated with Christianity and signifies the crucifixion.
Hot cross buns are round, rich, slightly sweet and spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and/or cloves. They also include dried fruit such as currants, raisins, mixed peel and/or candied fruit but more modern version sometimes include chocolate or dried cranberries and other add-ins.
The cross can be put on the bun a few different ways such as marking it with narrow strips of pastry or with a thick paste made of flour and water before baking. The cross can also be piped on after baking with a simple icing made of icing sugar and milk.
The recipe I used is from Anna Olson and it makes a nice, soft dough that can be made in a mixer, with beaters or by hand. I used my mixer since i doubled the batch to give away to friends and co-workers.
Hot Cross Buns
Makes 12 | Anna Olson
1 tablespoon instant dry active yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
1 large egg
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup diced candied orange peel
1/4 cup candied cherries
1/4 cup diced candied pineapple
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
In a mixer fitted with the hook attachment or with hand mixer with the dough attachments combine yeast, sugar and milk. Alternatively mix by hand in large bowl. Stir in egg. Add flour, spices, salt and melted butter. Once ingredients are blended add raisins and candied fruits.
With mixer, knead for 5 minutes on low speed or mix for 8 minutes by hand (a large wooden spoon works best). Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece gently to shape in a ball and place in a 10-inch greased springform pan. Cover pan with a tea towel and let rest 20 minutes.
For crosses, blend flour and water until smooth and spoon into piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe crosses on top of each bun. Alternatively, instead of using a batter, cut an X on the top of each bun with a sharp knife.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake for 35 minutes, until buns are a deep brown colour.
3. Hot Glaze
While buns are still hot, prepare glaze. Heat sugar and water until sugar is dissolved. Poke holes in buns with a skewer and brush warm glaze over buns, allowing glaze to soak in.
For icing, combine icing sugar and milk and whisk until smooth. Drizzle crosses over buns. If piping the crosses with batter, adding the icing is optional.