If you celebrate Easter, it doesn’t get more traditional than a tray of freshly baked hot cross buns, still warm from the oven and topped with a drizzle of oozing icing.
This delicious tray of doughy, aromatic goodness is the perfect crowd pleaser and the most delightful way to spend an afternoon over the weekend. Enjoy!
For the buns:
1 cup milk, warm
2 packets of active dry yeast
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup melted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cup plain flour, plus more for kneading
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ cup dried currants, plumped in hot water then drained
1 tsp lemon zest
Egg wash, for brushing
For the glaze:
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
½ tsp lemon zest
In a medium bowl, combine milk, yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Let sit, without stirring, until foamy, about 20 minutes. Whisk butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is a thick, shaggy dough. Stir in currants.
Turn the dough onto a heavily floured surface and knead until the dough is soft and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a large ball.
Grease the inside of a large bowl with butter and put the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
When the dough is ready to form into rolls, butter a 9”-x-13” baking tin. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a large rectangle. Divide the dough into 12 portions with a sharp knife or pizza wheel.
Shape each piece into a roll, tucking the edges under, and place each roll seam side-down into the butter pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the rolls have doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
After the second rise, preheat the oven to 190°C, or 375°F. Brush tops of buns with egg wash. Bake until golden and puffy, 22 to 25 minutes.
Make glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and lemon zest until smooth. Transfer to a medium resealable plastic bag and make a small cut in the corner of the bag. Pipe a thick cross shape over each bun.
Serve warm or at room temperature.