Easter is almost here! And Easter to me means, hot cross buns! As soon as they start popping up in the grocery stores I know that Easter is on it’s way and Spring has finally sprung! I’d love to say that my mom always made these or that I grew up making them, but that wouldn’t be true! I used to always just buy a box of the store bought ones, and I’d be happy as a clam. Although I have been known to pound an entire package of store-bought hot cross buns by myself, the homemade ones are so much better! And better for you!
These buns have minimal ingredients that you probably have on hand at home! They require a bit of time to rise, but besides that they are really simple to make! There is not complicated rolling or forming of the dough, and they’re all made in one pretty little pan!
The hot cross bun recipe is really similar to the clover leaf rolls and cinnamon roll recipe that I use! It’s a nice yeasty roll dough that is super rich from the added sugar and butter!
I love the citrus flavor that you can add to hot cross buns. I like to use orange zest, but you can also add in candied orange!
- 1 package of active dried yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup of milk, scalded
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 Tablespoon of orange zest
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of milk
- Soak the raisins in some warm water for about twenty minutes, or as long as it takes to make the dough. This ensures that they will be moist and delicious in the bread!
- Combine the yeast with the lukewarm water and let sit for a few minutes.
- Combine the hot, scalded (not boiled!!!) milk with the butter and sugar. Allow the butter to melt and the sugar to dissolve in the hot milk. Cool the milk and butter mixture until it is lukewarm.
- Combine the lukewarm milk mixture with the water and yeast mixture. Beat in the egg and the orange zest.
- Place the mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer and slowly add in the flour until it is completely incorporated and a soft dough has formed. Strain the water off of the raisins and add them into the dough. Mix again until the raisins are fully incorporated into the dough.
- Cover the dough and allow to rise for 30 minutes, until the dough has about doubled.
- Cut or divide the dough into 12 equal balls. Form the dough into smooth round balls. Place them snugly in a buttered baking dish, a 13x9 pan works best. Cover the pan with a clean dish towel and allow to rise for another thirty minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake the rolls for about twenty minutes, or until golden brown.
- While the rolls are baking, combine the 1/4 cup of water and 2 Tablespoons of sugar in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until the sugar has dissolved and some of the water has evaporated.
- When the rolls are taken out of the oven, glaze them with the sugar and water mixture.
- Combine the powdered sugar with the milk. It should be rather thick in consistency, add more powdered sugar or milk as needed. Place the mixture in a piping bag, or a plastic bag with the tip snipped and draw crosses over the top of each bun. Serve while warm and enjoy!