I know that Easter is over, but I made these buns for breakfast on Sunday, and I had to share the recipe.
I am intimidated every time I cook with yeast - it seems my efforts always end up resembling a rock - I had a little more success with these, and was reminded somewhat of my childhood days eating Hot Cross Buns this time of year.
HOT CROSS BUNS
FOR THE DOUGH
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold water
1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
3 cups of flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried currants
FOR THE EGG WASH
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
FOR THE ICING
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
In a glass 2-cup measuring cup or a small bowl, combine the milk, butter and sugar and microwave on high until the butter has melted and the milk is just bubbling, about 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk in the water and set the mixture aside until it's lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the egg until well blended and set the mixture aside.
In a large bowl, mix the yeast, flour, salt, cinnamon and currants. Add the milk mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until the dough forms a lumpy, sticky mass.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, you can add more flour as you go. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Punch down the dough in the bowl, then transfer it to a floured surface. Cover the dough and let it rest 10 minutes more.
Line a small cookie sheet with parchment paper. To form rolls, divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the pan. Cover the rolls with a tea towel and let them rise at room temperature until they have doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Twenty minutes before baking, heat the oven to 375F.
Make the egg wash by whisking together the egg and water in a small bowl. Brush the top of each roll with the wash.
Bake the rolls until brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
In a small bowl, make the icing by whisking together the confectioners sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth. Spoon the icing into a ziplock bag. Snip a corner from the bag and squeeze an icing cross onto each bun.
Makes 12 buns.
Recipe adapted from Family Fun, April 2010