Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hot Cross Buns with Lemon Curd and Glaze

I just love the buns. They are more of what I would think of as a sweet roll, but I'll just go with it. 

My kids will probably grow-up, move away from home, eat a "real" hot cross bun somewhere and wonder the Heck I have been feeding them all these years and calling Hot Cross Buns. 

I love making these for Easter. I find so much comfort in the deep tradition of foods. 

Traditionally, they are supposed to be eaten on Good Friday (which was yesterday! So I already am messing them up.)  We make Resurrection Rolls on Sunday because that is the day that Jesus was Resurrected, so it make a lot of sense to be eating Hot Cross buns on Good Friday, but maybe I'll have that pulled together for next year, since I am going so well as to actually get these posted this year. (even though it is still a day late) 

There are LOTS of difficult and intricate recipes out there for these - anything that has been made for 100's and 100's of years, but millions and millions of bakes, it really bound to end up being made a zillion ways.  Here's how I do it and I really like it a lot. 

I just make my basic roll dough. I am comfortable with it, it is delicious and so I use it. 

After the first rise, but before the second, I stir in the fruits that I am going to be using. 

After the end of the second rise, right before I put them in the oven a cut the tops and tiny bit. 

Then after they come out, I used a jar of lemon curd to make the stripes and then a basic milk and sugar icing to make stripes on top of that.  

Here's the recipe: 


2 c. whole milk  *this recipe will not work with 1% or skim milk
½ cup Sugar
1 tablespoon sugar, *divided from above
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm (105-115-degree) water
8-9 cups all-purpose flour
3 beaten eggs

Fruit - diced into small 1/2 in pieces
  ** you can use the fruitcake candied fruit bits, I like to use raisins and currents, but this year, I used raisins and craisins

1 bottle of Lemon Curd

1 cup powdered sugar
1 TB whole milk (see above) - then add more as need to thin


Combine milk, 1/2 c. sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm.  ** This cooling process can take a while, but don't rush it - you don't want to kill your yeast with too hot milk.

While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. This will make your yeast bubble, after 10 minutes if your yeast hasn't bubbled, you’ll need to repeat this step  with different yeast.  This is the part where most bread baking fails.

In a the bowl of your standing mixer, combine 3 c. flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly.

Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes.

Add beaten eggs.

Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft–it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it.
It will firm up after the first rise. Trust the process and don't add too much flour - this make the rolls heavy and dense.
Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel; allow to rise 1 hour.

Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Sprinkle the dough with your chopped fruits and then gently fold the fruits into your dough. Then divide in half.

Spray 2 9×13 glass pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle and then cut it into 12 equal-sized pieces.

Shape each piece into a ball and place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough in the second pan. At this point, I make a small x in the top of each ball.

Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

When dough has about 15-20 minutes to go (depending on your oven), preheat oven to 375.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden-brown.

After the rolls have finished baking, and once they are cool *Letting them cool is really important. If you try and add the icing while they are still warm, instead of staying nice and firm in little crosses on top of the rolls, all the icing will run into the cracks and you won't have hot cross buns at all - they'll still be delicious, but won't look as pretty. 

I put both the lemon curd and the icing once made into ziplog bags with one of the corners snipped off - and I ice the straight line on that way. Just be sure that you icing in still nice and thick and your rolls are nice and cool 

Happy Easter.  - and Next year - Good Friday, for sure.