Hot Cross Buns

How on earth is it almost Easter already??? Seriously we weren’t supposed to survive past 2012 and yet it’s 3 months into 2013?????? Already???
My concept of time is so skewed right now. Just this morning I was thinking about how it’s been nearly a year since I left Charlottetown to come back home. A year! I’m not sure whether it feels like yesterday or a whole other lifetime. Funny how drastically your situation can change over the course of 10 mere months. No regrets here though, I’m on the track that I want to be on. At least for now…
Holy jeepers…and now it’s Easter again. Did I mention that already? Which means:
– Cream eggs are back! Although I much prefer mini eggs myself.
– Unlimited access to Lindt chocolate bunnies.
– Way too much chocolate consumption, just in general.
And of course:
– Hot cross buns!
They’re a bit stodgy, I know. But they seem to be making a comeback lately. Cobs seems to have but a lot of effort into their advertising for this Easter specialty (especially the chocolate variety they created). Actually I was there this morning and the girl tried to upsell me some. To which I replied, “In fact I have some sitting at home that I made yesterday! Take that!” Well minus the “take that!” part, but I was thinking it.
hot cross buns
hot cross buns
Adapted from Anna Olson
3/4 cup 2% milk, heated to just above body temperature (105 F)
teaspoons instant dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/3 cup dried currants
1/4 cup mixed diced peel
Thanks to my new Kitchenaid, I just threw all of the ingredients in the bowl and let it mix on medium low until the dough began to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes. Some say you should added the dried fruit at the end so it doesn’t tear the gluten in the dough but for this amount, I didn’t find it to be an issue. I will say though that when I make these buns again before Easter, I will add a bit more dried fruit. I found the measurements a bit skimpy.
Anyways let the dough rise until it doubles in bulk, about an hour and a half. Punch it down and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape them into balls and place in a greased 9 by 13 pan to rise again (make sure you cover them with plastic wrap or a towel so they don’t dry out). Once they are twice their original size it’s time to bake. 350F for 25-30 minutes.
1/2 cup sugar
tablespoons water
teaspoon vanilla extract
Bring the sugar and water to a boil. You want to dissolve the sugar and allow the mixture to thicken slightly (but avoid turning it into a rock hard piece of candy). Remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Brush over top of the hot buns the minute you remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool completely before icing.
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Combine the 2 ingredients into a thick, pipeable paste. If it’s too thick, add a splash more milk, too thin, a handful more sugar. Pipe over the cooled buns, in the shape of crosses (go figure!). And now you can finally eat!

hot cross buns
hot cross buns
This was just my dad’s excuse to get extra icing on his.
hot cross buns

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