The pastry for traditional hot cross buns is sweet, lightly spicy, and usually filled with raisins, currants or other dried fruits. Bearing little crosses made of pastry, frosting, or flour-and-water paste, hot cross buns are traditionally eaten during the week leading up to Easter in many historically Christian countries. Some people trade stories about how the buns made around holidays never go bad, or how pinning one bun from a Good Friday batch to the wall would ensure a bakery’s success the rest of the year. Here, the typical buns get an update to make them more shareable and fun to eat.
- In a small bowl, stir 1/2 cup of warm milk with 2 tablespoons of sugar until dissolved. Add in the yeast and let foam for 5-10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, spices, and salt together.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the yeast mixture, the rest of the milk, eggs, butter, and mix until well combined. Add the dried fruit and orange zest.
- Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes until smooth, adding a bit more flour if it’s too sticky. Form into a ball, place back into the bowl, cover with plastic, and leave in a warm place for 2 hours.
- Divide the dough into 30 equally sized portions. Form portions into balls, roll in brown sugar to coat, and place on top of each other in a greased Bundt cake pan. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Make the glaze: In a shallow bowl, whisk together confectioner’s sugar, milk, and orange juice.
- Let the loaf cool for 20 minutes before removing it from the pan. Sprinkle the glaze over the loaf in a crisscross pattern. Serve warm with butter.
Recipe by Kate Kosaya