Hot Cross Buns

It was Good Friday yesterday and I decided to make hot cross buns after watching Martha Stewart the night before making this on her show. I wasn’t really planning on making this but I happen to have all the ingredients and Martha said these buns are traditionally made on Good Friday which is just perfect. So I made these buns yesterday. My bread did not turn out as nice as Martha’s and I’m not good at bread-making, I’ve only tried cinnamon rolls and brioche before but I was glad to try my hands at it again.

I find it quite relaxing making these bread or any bread I guess, especially the kneading and shaping part ( I need to work on it) and the smell of freshly made bread is sooo good..I just need to be less forgetful and remember to set the alarm next time.. my dough rose too much, good thing it was covered with plastic, I let it rose inside my unheated oven (I heard it’s the best place for proofing dough).  Here are some photos..

hot_cross_buns_dough_1
..cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour

hot_cross_buns_dough
..after an hour..err..this is more like after a couple of hours.

hot_cross_buns_3
…knead, divide and shape into buns…need more practice,practice..practice

hot_cross_buns_4
and bake..not pretty to look at but it’s good and I made myself .. the dark ones are my fave :)

HOT CROSS BUNS

Makes 30

Ingredients
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 ounce (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl and baking sheet
Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
51/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
4 ounces (3/4 cup) dried cherries, coarsely chopped
4 ounces (3/4 cup) golden raisins, coarsely chopped
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
1.Heat 1 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it registers 110 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour milk into a mixer bowl, and fit mixer with a dough hook. With mixer on low speed, add granulated sugar, yeast, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the nutmeg, cinnamon, and eggs. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and knead until mixture comes together in a soft, sticky dough. Continue kneading, scraping down hook as needed, until dough is smooth, about 4 minutes.

2.Add cherries and raisins, and knead to incorporate. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead to distribute dried fruit. Coat a large bowl with butter. Shape dough into a ball, and place in prepared bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3.Generously butter a rimmed baking sheet. Turn dough onto a surface, knead briefly, then divide into 3 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, divide each third into 10 pieces, and shape each into a tight ball. (Keep dough covered with plastic.) Place on prepared sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm spot until buns have doubled in size and are touching, about 1 hour.

4.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together egg white and water in a small bowl. Brush tops of buns with egg-white wash. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on sheet on wire rack for 30 minutes.

5.Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Spoon icing into a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/4-inch round tip, and pipe icing on buns in the shape of a cross. (Alternatively, spoon glaze on buns.) Serve immediately.

From Martha Stewart Living, April 2009

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