A traditional British Isles bread popular during Easter, sweet and fluffy hot cross buns are thought to be a sign of lasting friendship.
For the Dough:
- 1 cup whole milk, divided
- 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
For the Egg Wash:
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
For the Icing:
- 2 cups vanilla buttercream frosting
- In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir in the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together on low speed the flour, salt, spices, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Switch to the dough hook and mix in the yeast mixture, softened butter, eggs, vanilla, and remaining 3/4 cup milk at medium-high speed. Mix in the currants, raisins, lemon zest, and orange zest.
- Knead the dough until soft and elastic, but still a little sticky, about 5-8 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl greased with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Roll the ball entirely in the oil. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap, and rest the dough at room temperature for 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough. Turn the dough out of the bowl and pat into a large rectangle. Divide the dough into 3 roughly even ropes. Divide each rope into 5 pieces, yielding 15 pieces total. If using a scale, each piece should weigh about 3 ounces.
- Roll each dough piece into a smooth ball shape. Place each ball, seam side down, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Leave about 1/2 inch of space between each one, arranged 5 across and 3 down.
- Place a towel over the dough. Let it sit at room temperature until the balls double in size, about 1 hour.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Prepare egg wash by beating 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush each bun with egg wash.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the buns are browned and shiny on top.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place the buttercream frosting in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe two lines of frosting across each bun to create a cross. Serve!
Foodal recommends using half of a batch of this rich and fluffy American-style Buttercream for the decorations.
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Baked Goods
Keywords: hot cross buns, Easter, bread