One of the most classic Easter baking recipes, interpreted by Kelsey Hilts.
Text And Photo By Kelsey Hilts
Hot Cross Buns are traditionally made on Good Friday but in recent years they have become a typical treat during the entire Easter season. This recipe is a classic sweet bread recipe that can be used for many purposes. These moist, buttery rolls are yummy plain or with dried fruit. To enjoy them both ways, I left half of the dough plain and kneaded chopped Craisins and dried pineapple into the other half (a dried fruit combo that turned out to be a hit). As with all hot cross buns, make icing crosses on them while they are still warm so that the powdered sugar glaze starts to melt into the buns.
- 1 cup (191,6g) sugar
- 1 tsp (5g) salt
- 6¾ tsp (40,9g) yeast (3 packages)
- 8-9 cups (795-894g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (473,2mL) milk
- 1 cup (229,5g) butter
- 2 eggs
- Roughly ½ cup (62g) chopped Craisins
- Roughly ½ cup (62g) chopped candied orange peel or other dried citrus fruit
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp (5mL) water
- 1 cup (130g) powdered sugar
- ½ tsp (2,5mL) vanilla
- 1 Tbsp (14mL) milk or water, to consistency
- Combine the sugar, salt, yeast and 2 cups (199g) flour in a large bowl.
- Heat the milk and the butter in a saucepan over low heat until the butter melts and the mixture is very warm.
- Gradually add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing them together at a low speed.
- Once combined, increase the speed to medium and mix for two minutes more.
- Add the eggs and 2 more cups (199g) flour.
- Beat the mixture for two minutes.
- Then stir in enough additional flour (roughly 4 cups [398g]) to make a soft dough.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly-floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic.
- Form the dough into a ball.
- Place the dough ball in a large, greased bowl and then flip the dough over so that the greased side faces up.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for one hour or until doubled.
- Punch down the dough.
- Then divide the dough in half.
- If desired, knead chopped dried fruit into the dough at this point.
- Divide each half into 12 pieces and shape them into balls.
- Place them in a greased 9×13-inch (23x33cm) pan.
- Cover the pan with a towel and let the buns rise for one hour or until doubled. Repeat the process with the 2nd half of dough or reserve the remaining dough for another use.
- Once the buns have doubled in size, mix 1 egg yolk with 1 tsp (5mL) water and brush the buns with the egg glaze.
- Bake the buns at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the tops are brown and glazed.
- Remove the buns from the oven.
- Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk or water, adjusting the amount of liquid to consistency.
- Make an icing cross on the buns.
- Serve them warm or let them cool completely and store them in a sealed container.
Recipe source: The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook
Kelsey Hilts is the founder of Itsy Bitsy Foodies, an online resource for families looking for ways to spend more time together enjoying food and exploring the world beyond the children’s menu.