It’s Good Friday, and while I have never personally associated hot cross buns with today, a lot of people in the UK, Australia and other countries with British ties do. And The Pioneer Woman. So of course she has an incredible recipe for them. That’s just what she does.
I can see this becoming a tradition in our house. My kids are too young to understand what Good Friday really means, but I did talk to Carson this morning about Jesus dying on the cross today after he ate (picked at) his hot cross bun. As they get older I can see us starting the day on Good Friday eating these and talking about the importance and the meaning of the coming weekend.
I followed the recipe, found here, exactly. The only thing I think I would do differently is to tear the dough into larger pieces. The recipe says golf ball/ping pong ball sized, and that the recipe yields 18 buns. When I was tearing them that small I was going to get more than 18. I’d say make them a little bigger, maybe tennis ball size. Also, watch them as they bake. The smaller dough balls do not need 20 minutes in the oven. Check them after 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and then keep an eye on them. At 400°F they go from nicely browned to too dark very quickly. The ones I overcooked were not as good at the ones I pulled from the oven before they got too dark.
The flavor of these buns is incredible. I baked these last night and I just had to try one warm from the oven. I was planning to have a pinch, but I stood there in the kitchen taking pinch after pinch until that bun was gone. The frosting on top makes them extra beautiful, makes the name fit them, and adds a nice bit of extra sweetness.
I hope you try these, if not on Good Friday, just as a nice breakfast bread anytime. If you lived back in the days of Elizabeth I you wouldn’t be allowed to enjoy these on any days but Good Friday, burials and Christmas! Enjoy celebrating Easter this weekend!
Hot Cross Buns
From The Pioneer Woman
Makes 18-24 depending on size
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup (additional) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Spices: cardamom, nutmeg, allspice (I used 1/2 teaspoon cardamom and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg)
- 1/2 cup raisins (I accidentally used 1 cup, and they were still great)
- 1 egg white
- splash of milk
- 1 egg white
- powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Heat milk, oil and sugar over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and let cool until warm, between 100 and 115°F.
- Transfer milk mixture to a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top, followed by 4 cups of flour. Mix it all together well, then put a towel over the bowl and let it rest for 1 hour.
- Stir the sugar and spices together and set aside.
- Mix in the extra 1/2 cup flour along with the salt, baking powder and baking soda. After it is combined, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and flatten the dough evenly.
- Sprinkle some of the sugar over the dough, then sprinkle with some raisins. Fold the dough over it self, flatten it out again and repeat with the sugar and raisins. Fold over again, flatten, sprinkle with sugar and raisins, then fold once more and flatten slightly.
- Pull off pieces of dough, about tennis ball sized for larger buns, golf ball sized for smaller buns, roll into balls, pull the edges of the dough down and underneath the dough ball, and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Repeat for all the dough, leaving buns enough room to spread and rise in the oven.
- Place a clean towel over the buns and let rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Whisk egg white and a little milk for glaze and brush on the buns before putting them in the oven.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then check buns and rotate the pans. Bake until buns are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes for smaller buns, 13-18 for larger buns.
- Let cool completely on wire racks.
- Mix egg white with powdered sugar until it is smooth and thick. Add a little milk to thin it out slightly, but still at a consistency that will not run off the buns.
- Put frosting in a piping bag or a ziploc, cut the tip and pipe a cross onto each bun. Let harden (or not!) and enjoy.