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Hot Cross Buns

Remember the children’s nursery rhyme that goes as follows?

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny – Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny – Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns were sold in the street to the cry of “Hot cross buns!” around the period in English history dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth century.

A hot cross bun is a type of sweet spiced bun made with currants and leavened with yeast. It has a cross on the top which might be made in a variety of ways. Using confectioner’s frosting, is the most common way.

According to one source, hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of Christ and the resurrection. Have fun with the children and enjoy the process of being together in the kitchen. Here’s my recipe for the buns:

Hot Cross Buns

2/3 cup dried currants
3-1/2 to 4 cups whole wheat flour (or half bread flour and half whole wheat
2 TB yeast
1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/3 cup sugar or honey
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 slightly beaten egg white
Frosting (recipe follows)

Cover currants with very hot water. Let stand about 10 minutes or up to one hour at room temperature. Drain well. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and cinnamon. Heat milk, oil, sugar or honey, and salt until warm (115 to 120�). Add to the dry mixture. Allow to sponge for about 15 minutes if time allows. Add eggs, one at a time. By hand or mixer, stir in currants and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until the gluten is developed by mixer or on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6-10 minutes.

Shape into ball. Place in greased bowl. Turn once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch down. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Divide into 18 pieces. Form smooth balls. Place on greased baking sheet 1-1/2 inches apart. Cover; let rise until double, 30 to 45 minutes. Cut shallow cross in each. Brush tops with egg white. Bake in preheated 375� oven 12 -15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet. Use confectioner’s Frosting to make a “cross” on the bun.

Confectioner’s Frosting:

2 TB milk
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine these ingredients together and add milk or water as needed to get a good pouring consistency for the frosting. Place the frosting in a small zip-lock sandwich baggie, clip the corner and use the baggie to squeeze the frosting over the cooled buns in a cross shape. Small children will enjoy this process even if it gets a little messy!

More Easter Themed Activities:

1. To learn to dye Easter eggs with natural colors, CLICK HERE.

2. Another fun Resurrection project is Resurrection Cookies.

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* How to Select Ingredients
* Selecting a Grain Mill
* Selecting A Mixer

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1 comment to Hot Cross Buns

  • Julie

    Thank you for this recipe. This brings back happy childhood memories. My grandma made these for us, but not just at Easter, because we loved them so much. I hope to make these soon! Thanks again.

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