Friday, April 02, 2010

Second Time's the Charm

It was fun making the Hot Cross Buns that I posted a few days ago, but it was even better today. A dear friend, J of the Green Thumb, invited me to bake with her, so we made another batch of hot cross buns with some variations.

These had all bread flour and no whole wheat flour, citron and candied pineapple instead of the marmalade, and a proper cross with Meyer lemon juice using a lemon she picked right before we made the icing! so they were truly different, although still a bit spicy and fruity. I liked these better. They were more tender, the citron and pineapple were somehow more to my taste, and the lemon juice in the icing really brought out the spices. Best of all, they were not overbaked as the earlier ones were! This is surprising since we were talking up a storm and not being diligent about keeping track of the time :)

We had fun with the currants, too. Since we didn't use raisins this time, we used more currants and they made little faces when we turned them into buns after weighing the dough pieces. Keeping them close to the same weight is supposed to keep them pretty much the same size, but maybe more had fruit than others because the sizes were markedly different. Once you started eating them that didn't really make any difference. Yummy hot cross buns! One other difference was that the dough was dry when we hadn't even added all the flour, so we added about 1/4 cup fresh orange juice and removed the dough from the dough hook, mixed some of the juice into the dough with a spatula, then started up the machine with the dough hook again and let it mix in the rest of the juice. Then we could add the additional flour and let the machine knead it a little while.

We started them about 10 am and they were baked by 2 pm. After cooling for a half hour we iced them. You might be able to shave a half hour off, but still, four to four and a half hours isn't bad for fresh, soft yeast rolls that make your kitchen smell wonderful. There were even two pans of buns, so we each had some. Thanks J! It sure was fun!!

I'm sending this version over to Yeastspotting since it is a new week. Do check out Wild Yeast and the great bread showcased there.
Hot Cross Buns - April version
Makes 16 buns

3/4 cup warm (100° to 110°) whole milk
4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
1 large egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Finely shredded zest of 1/2 large orange
About 3 cups bread flour
½ cup candied citron, chopped
¼ cup candied pineapple, chopped
1/2 cup dried currants
¼ cup triple sec (or rum)
1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar – or enough to make a thick icing

1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine milk and yeast; let stand until yeast softens, 5 to 10 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together the whole egg, brown sugar, cooled melted butter, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and orange zest. Add to the milk/yeast mixture and beat on medium speed with dough hook until blended.

2. Blend most of the flour into the batter. Beat on medium speed until dough is smooth and stretchy, 10 to 12 minutes, using dough hook. Add just enough additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, (about 1/4 cup) so dough is only slightly tacky or add fresh orange juice if batter is too dry.

3. Soak currants in the triple sec for 10 minutes, then drain off the triple sec and use for another purpose or discard. Add candied citron, pineapple and the currants to the dough, pick up dough, and mix with your hands to distribute fruit.(I turned the dough out onto a lightly floured board and kneaded the dough in...that way I was sure that I had the dough well kneaded before adding the fruit and that the fruit was well distributed.)
Return dough to bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/4 hours.

4. Punch down dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a bench scraper or knife to divide dough into 16 pieces.With floured hands, shape into 16 smooth rounds. Evenly space rounds in two buttered 8- or 9-in. round pans.

5. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place until doubled and puffy, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Brush buns with beaten egg. Bake until deep golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool in pans at least 30 minutes.

6. In a small bowl, stir together lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Spoon into a small, heavy-gauge plastic bag, snip a hole in a corner, and squeeze icing onto buns to form large Xs.


  1. I've had hot cross buns on the brain, but haven't made them yet. Yours look great, and it sounds like you had fun making them too :)

  2. Now you've done them twice so close! I need some Hot Cross Buns!
    They look wonderful!

  3. They look still as good as the first time around. ;)
    Btw, where did you get that all-metal dough cutter?

  4. They look lovely! The only hot cross buns I've ever tasted have been nasty, dry, store-bought ones, so I've never had the urge to bake them myself. You might just have changed that with your version.

    Happy Easter!

  5. Kristen, It is fun if you like bread baking...give it a try...buns are fun to make.

    Tanna, Might be a good recipe for having fun with bread dough :)

    Andreas, They were even tastier...ate the last one on Easter. The link for the dough cutter is:

    Lynn, There is no comparison to store bought. These are moist and soft and slightly spicy and so good. I prefer the citron, but almost any dried fruit tastes great in these. Happy Easter!

  6. Candied pineapple and meyer lemon. Yum! Those sound wonderful!

  7. I love this fruitier version of the hot cross buns! They look delicious.

  8. I cant beleive I've missed so many posts!! Your hot cross buns look fantastic and something that I would love to sink my teeth into this morning - Hungry!!