There is much legend and lore behind Hot Cross Buns, which date back to the old country. A classic British treat, Hot Cross Buns were baked in bulk on Good Friday and would never spoil throughout the following year. Some bakers believed that holding on to one Hot Cross Bun and hanging it in the kitchen meant that all yeast products in the coming year would rise successfully. These buns are easy to make, packed with flavour and irresistible when slathered with butter.
INGREDIENTS (Makes 18 buns)
- 5 1/2 to 6 cups all−purpose flour, sifted
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 sachet Angels Active Dry Yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup chopped pitted dates
- 1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruits
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 to 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In large bowl combine 2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, cinnamon, salt, allspice and nutmeg. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (50°C to 55°C).
Gradually add to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed on electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. If preparing dough by hand, mix well with wooden spoon for about 8 minutes.
Add 2 eggs and 1/2 a cup of flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed (or 5 minutes by hand until well combined). Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.
Knead on floured surface for about 6 to 8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Loosely cover with cling film; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes. Punch dough down.
Remove dough to floured surface. Knead in dates and candied fruits. Divide dough into 18 equal pieces; shape into smooth balls. Place in 2 greased 8−inch square or round baking pans. Cover; let rise in warm place about 30 to 45 minutes until doubled in size.Brush egg white over rolls. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes or until browned. Remove from pans; let cool on wire racks.
To make the Icing In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, 1 to 2 tablespoons evaporated milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir until smooth. Drizzle or pipe Icing onto each roll to make a cross shape