Hot Cross Buns, an Easter speciality, has a history dating back hundreds of years. Originally baked using the dough from the communion wafer, they are now made with a sweet, yeast-leavened dough, usually enhanced with sweet dried fruit, such as currants or raisins. While they are still primarily eaten on Easter, they are now sold all-year round all over the world. It's not hard to see why: these buns are so delicious, they may end up making it to your dinner table more frequently than just once a year too!
Hot Cross Buns
*Recipe adapted from Country Living
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon non-dairy milk warmed to 110°F
1 package or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup currants
2 tablespoons candied lemon peel, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons candied orange peel, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 tablespoons soy butter (such as Earth Balance), melted
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Coat a large bowl with oil and set aside.
Combine 1 cup non-dairy milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl and let stand until it starts to bubble.
Combine the flours, remaining sugar, raisins, candied peels, salt, and spices in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low speed.
Add the butter, egg substitute, and the yeast mixture and continue to mix until a sticky dough forms.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand until smooth.
Form the dough into a ball and place in the prepared oiled bowl. Turn the dough to coat all sides evenly with oil. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel, or damp paper towel and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, which takes about 1 hour.
After the dough has doubled in size, line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. Punch down the dough to release the air bubbles and transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 3-4 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place about 1-inch apart on the parchment paper lined pan. Cover the pan with a kitchen towel and let rise until the buns double in size and are touching one another, about 1.5 hours.
As the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 500°F and prepare the frosting. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, remaining non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
Once the buns have risen and the oven is preheated, place them in the middle rack of the oven and reduce the temperature to 400°F.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown.
Transfer the buns to a wire rack.
After the buns have cooled slightly, drizzle two perpendicular lines across each bun to form a cross.
Makes 12 buns.