I asked my husband if he wanted anything special for Easter, and he replied he wanted Hot Cross Buns for Easter breakfast. He knows that question always means what does he want me to cook or bake...
I could not remember ever making Hot Cross Buns before. I'm sure my mother made them for us, and I likely helped, but I never made them as an adult.
Like many times before, I did some research and pieced together a recipe...
Hot Cross Buns
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg for dough, 1 large egg for brushing
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 cup currants
Milk and confectioner's sugar for icing/glaze - amount depends on texture you prefer
Combine water and milk in saucepan and warm until about 100 degrees F. Remove from heat and sprinkle yeast and pinch of sugar over surface of liquid. Set aside with out stirring, until foamy and rising up the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.
Whisk the butter, 1 egg, and vanilla into the yeast mixture.
Stir the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture. Stir to make thick, slightly sticky dough. Stir in currants. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until soft and elastic. You may have to add more flour. Shape into a ball.
Brush the inside a large bowl with butter. Put dough in bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size. It look a little over an hour.
Turn out dough and divide into 12 equal portions and make into round rolls. Place them in a buttered 9 x 13 inch baking pan, leaving a little space in between each roll. Cover the pan and let rise until the rolls almost reach rim of pan, more than doubled. It took about 45 minutes.
Brush buns with beaten egg. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven until brown and puffy, about 25 minutes.
For the glaze, stir together confectioner's sugar and milk until smooth. Use a pastry bag or zip-loc bag to ice buns in a thick cross shape over the top of the warm buns.