Hot Cross Buns – whether you associate it with Good Friday or the catchy nursery rhyme, it’s a deliciously warm and sweet bread that EVERYONE must try. Traditionally for many Christians, Hot Cross Buns are eaten on Good Friday. The piped icing in the shape of the cross is said to symbolize the crucifiction of Christ. It is the perfect little bun to complement an Easter dinner.
My version is Dairy, Egg and Nut Free, of course, and can be adapted to fit your family’s personal tastes. Some recipes call for the addition of dried cherries or cranberries, or even candied fruit peel. It can also include any assortment of spices including cloves and ginger. But I happen to like mine with just a little cinnamon and nutmeg, and a healthy dose of currants or raisins.
As with many yeast bread recipes, you’ll need to add just enough flour to make a soft pliable dough. Add too little and the dough won’t hold, add too much and your dough will become tough. I call for 3 1/2 -4 cups of flour in my recipe; add only a little at a time to ensure your dough is perfect.
Don’t be intimidated by the fact that this is a yeast bread; it is SO easy! Even the placement of the crosses are easy. You can either cut crosses in the dough before baking, pour the icing mixture into a zip lock bag that has the corner snipped off and pipe directly onto the bun, or even take a little teaspoon and drizzle the icing right on.
My kids LOVE this little bread, and even say it reminds them of a warm and gooey cinnamon roll. They are so yummy, so easy and perfect for Easter. I hope you all have a wonderful Passover and Easter holiday!!
DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE HOT CROSS BUNS
Icing for crosses: Mix the icing ingredients together in a small bowl until it is easy to drizzle.
In a medium saucepan, gently heat soy buttermilk, vegetable oil, brown sugar and water until it reaches 110-115 degrees (about a minute or two). In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment combine 2 cups flour, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour. Add soy buttermilk mixture and mix on low for one minute, scraping dough sides so it is evenly incorporated. Slowly add the remaining flour, 1/2 c. at a time or until dough is soft and pliable. Use a rubber spatula to stir in currants or raisins. Place dough into a bowl sprayed with dairy free cooking spray. Cover and let rise 1-1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down, cover and let rest 10 minutes. Divide into 16 pieces and form smooth balls. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper 1 inch apart. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let rise 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat oven to 375 degrees. At this point you can either cut a cross into the top of each dough ball, or simply put into the oven. Bake 13-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool slightly and pipe on Icing mixture over the cut portion of the dough, or pipe the icing in a cross pattern.
Cool completely and serve.