Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Family Traditions Live On...

When I was quite small my Grandmother who was from British Columbia made Hot Cross Buns on Holy week so we could have them for Good Friday. They were delicious. Now I am taking over that tradition so my family (Husband Mark, Kids, Grandkids) can enjoy delicious bread with great spices and fruit here and there in them as a traditional treat with either delicious hot tea or hot cocoa if you are a child. Maybe you would like to try these. They aren't hard and they are wonderful.

1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 (1/4 ounce) packages), 1/3 cup butter (MELT THIS) , plus as needed 1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons REAL vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour (13 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 cup currants, plumped in the microwave and cooled
1/2 cup walnuts chopped fine
1 egg beaten, for brushing
For the icing/glaze: 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted 2 tablespoons milk 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
Combine the water and milk in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat until about 100 degrees F (but no more than 110 degrees). Remove from heat and sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar and flour over the surface of the liquid. Set aside without stirring, until foamy and rising up the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Whisk the butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture. Whisk the flour, the remaining sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and stir in the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon to make a thick, shaggy, and slightly sticky dough. Stir in currants and walnuts. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 8 minutes. Shape into a ball. Brush the inside of a large bowl with butter. Put dough in bowl, turning to coat lightly with butter. Cover with towel or plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
To shape the rolls: Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Turn the dough out of the bowl and pat into a rectangle about 16 by 8 inches. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions, about 2 ounces each, with a pizza wheel or bench scraper. (If you don't have a scale, divide the dough in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise. Cut each of those four sections into 3 equal-sized rolls.) Tuck the edges of the dough under to make round rolls and place them seam-side down in the prepared pan, leaving a little space in between each roll. Cover the pan with buttered plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the rolls rise almost to the rim of the pan and have more than doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Remove the towel or plastic wrap and brush the tops of the buns with beaten egg. Bake rolls until golden brown and puffy, and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the rolls registers 190 degrees F, about 25 minutes. For the glaze: Stir together confectioners' sugar, milk, lemon zest and vanilla until smooth. Transfer icing to a zip bag or pastry bag, and make a small cut in the corner of the bag. Ice buns in a thick cross shape over the top of the warm buns.


Tina said...

Those look awesome. I'm going to make them tomorrow night and use your recipe. Those so good. Thanks for sharing......

Wendy said...

Great recipe...will have to try it out. I have added you to my fav blog list...check out my blog at

Jackie said...

Mmm yummy! I love hot cross buns.

~ Happy Easter ~


Sandi said...

I love all the wonderful painted eggs on your blog, you find some of the best photos. Or did you take them yourself? I love the latte with the Easter Bunny.

Sandi in New Westminster B.C.

Dixie said...

Your eggs are awesome as are all your pictures...I always look forward to your blog and new entrys...Dixie - Lake of the Ozarks