I don't know about you, but every year I look forward to Easter. The main reason of course is because of what it represents, and as a Christian it is a huge celebration for myself and my family.
However, I have to be honest and admit that the other reason I look forward to Easter, is because of the Hot Cross Buns. My word.
It's not like I can't make them any other time of the year, but truthfully, I don't. I make them once a year and that's it, so we always look forward to them, my daughter especially who is a huge fan of any kinda of yeasty bread concoction.
Although I already have a recipe on the blog, there are so many out there, and I've tried quite a few. Some I had great results, others not so much. When I saw the recipe for these Hot Cross Buns with an Orange Glaze, I just knew I had to try them. Sally's Baking Addiction didn't disappoint, the result is a super soft, perfectly spiced dough, and when you add in the orange glaze at the end, it takes it to another level.
Keep in mind, these are not very sweet at all, which is fine with me, but if you want a sweet dough you may need to adjust accordingly.
Now let me give you the recipe so that you have plenty of time to still whip up a batch for Easter Sunday. Or Saturday, or Monday, or any day of the week, really.
I am already looking forward to a toasted hot cross bun slathered in butter and enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee, for breakfast. Yum!
Hot Cross Buns with Orange Glaze
Source: Sally's Baking Addiction
3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F
2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast (1 standard packet)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
5 Tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 5 pieces
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 and 1/2 cups (435g) all-purpose flour or bread flour (spoon & leveled)*
1 cup (140g) raisins or currants*
1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour or bread flour
6–8 Tablespoons (90-120ml) water
1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
3 Tablespoons (45ml) fresh or bottled orange juice (or use milk and a splash of vanilla extract for plain icing)
Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Add the brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, eggs, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and 1 cup (125g) flour. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the remaining flour and the raisins. Beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. Dough should be a little sticky and soft. If it’s too sticky and not pulling away from the sides of the bowl, mix in additional flour 1 Tablespoon at a time. *If you do not own a mixer, you can mix this dough with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It will take a bit of arm muscle!*
Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer and beat for an additional 2 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes.
1st Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size. (I always let it rise on the counter. Takes about 2 hours.
Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or two 9-inch square or round baking pans. You can also bake the rolls in a cast iron skillet or on a lined baking sheet.
Shape the rolls: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Divide the dough into 14-16 equal pieces. (Just eyeball it– doesn’t need to be perfect!) Shape each piece into a smooth ball, pinching it on the bottom to seal. I do this entirely in my hands and you can watch in the video tutorial for my dinner rolls. Arrange in prepared baking pan.
2nd Rise: Cover shaped rolls with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise until puffy, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
Add the cross: Whisk the cross ingredients together, starting with 6 Tablespoons of water. You want a thick paste that will pipe easily. Add remaining water if needed. Spoon paste into a piping bag or zipped-top bag. (No need to use a piping tip if using a piping bag.) Snip off a small piece at the corner. Pipe a line down the center of each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.
Bake the rolls: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top, rotating the pan halfway through. If you notice the tops browning too quickly, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven and allow rolls to cool for a few minutes as you prepare the icing.
Make the icing: Whisk the icing ingredients together, then drizzle or brush on warm rolls. Serve immediately.
Cover leftover rolls tightly and store at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.