Julia's Guardian Angel Fund

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hot Cross Buns

Here they are are. They are delicious. We made 24, but only needed about 14 (10 for the girls plus 4 more for lingering parents and siblings). So, we tried a few for breakfast. Little Man, Testy Tiger and Little Princess actually opted out after finding there were, GASP, dried fruit in them! Even though I put Grandma's Secret Butter Cream Frosting on them, they abstained.

The inside texture was lovely. I tried to capture it with my cell phone camera, but it didn't turn out well at all. So you'll just have to trust me.

Here's the recipe. I have to go panic clean. Hope you get to make these someday. I still have some dough left that will probably get frozen for the first Friday in Lent or Good Friday.

No Knead Hot Cross Bun Recipe

Adapted from the Panettone recipe from _Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day_

Makes 18 rolls (Can be doubled or cut in half)

In a 5 Qt. ice cream bucket or other large bowl combine:

¾ c. hot water

2 tsp. yeast

1 ½ tsp. salt

¼ c. honey

1 stick butter, melted and cooled

4 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

Mix well. Add:

1 c. dried fruit (raisins and currants are traditional – we used dried cherries, blueberries and cranberries)

3 ¼ c. all purpose flour measured by the scoop and level method

Stir into wet ingredients until flour is just combined. Allow to sit on counter, lightly covered with lid until doubled. Then, place in the refrigerator until ready to use. This recipe is best used when the dough is cold.

When ready to use, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle flour over top of dough and form into one nice ball, not by kneading, but by pulling and stretching the dough down to the bottom. Place on a floured work surface. Divide dough in half and cut each half again into thirds (6 pieces now). Divide each third into three pieces (to make 18 pieces). With floured hands, form into ball, again pulling and stretching the dough to the bottom. Place on a buttered or greased cookie sheet about 1” apart. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Allow to rise for at least 40 minutes, and up to 1 hour and 40 minutes. It's best if the buns don't feel cold to the touch anymore. It took 1 hour and 40 minutes at my house. Take off the plastic and using a serrated (one with teeth) knife, make two slices in the bun, forming a cross. Mix an egg white with 1 Tbsp. water using a fork. Brush egg wash over the buns. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Before serving, fill in the cross with this icing:

Glaze (you can use this one or your favorite butter cream recipe)
1 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp milk

Put in a zip loc bag and snip a very small piece off the corner. This will make it easier to drizzle the icing over the buns.

Hot cross buns are typically eaten on Good Friday and during Lent

Stories abound about the origins of the Hot Cross Bun. Yet, the common thread throughout is the symbolism of the "cross" of icing which adorns the bun itself.

Some say that the origin of Hot Cross Buns dates back to the 12th century, when an Angelican monk was said to have placed the sign of the cross on the buns, to honor Good Friday, a Christian holiday also known as the Day of the Cross. Supposedly, this pastry was the only thing permitted to enter the mouths of the faithful on this holy day.

P.S. If you are in the Catholic Traditions Book Club you will get this recipe in the class packet.

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