I came across the idea of Hot Cross Buns early last week. I can't remember where I found it, but decided to make them for Easter. There are many recipes online, some more complicated than others. I decided to stick with a familiar recipe and add some ingredients. I wouldn't go so far as to say these are a healthy version of Hot Cross Buns. But, they are made with whole wheat flour and I omitted the icing that is commonly found in other recipes.
1.5 cups warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon yeast
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup olive oil
3.5 cups flour (whole wheat)
1/2 cup raisins
Butter or Smart Balance
Sugar for sprinkling (optional)
- Add the warm water, sugar, yeast, spices, and oil in a bowl. Let rest for a couple of minutes.
- Mix the egg and 1 cup of flour into the other ingredients so the egg is separated.
- Add the remaining flour and mix until the flour and dough are combined.
- Cover and let rise until about double in size. It is colder here today, so I warmed the oven, turned if off, then placed the bowl inside for the rise.
- After about an hour, the dough was ready. I poured it out onto a floured surface and kneaded in a small amount of flour. Just enough to keep it from sticking to my fingers.
- Spread out the dough in to a rectangle (you can use a rolling pin to help) then sprinkle half the raisins over the top.
- Fold in half and repeat with the remaining raisins. Knead the dough some more to make sure the raisins are inside.
- Form the buns by breaking off small pieces of dough (about the size of a ping pong ball). Roll them in your hands and stretch the dough from top to bottom to make for a smoother ball.
- Place shaped dough on a greased baking sheet. About 12 should fit comfortably on one sheet. It may look like you can fit more, but they will expand and fill in the space.
- Once all the buns are shaped, cover (I used a dish towel) and let rise a second time. I gave them a hour.
- After the second rise, use a knife to score a cross on top of each bun.
- Melt the butter product of your choice (I used Smart Balance) in the microwave.
- Apply the melted butter to the top of each bun. You can also sprinkle with sugar for added sweetness.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Makes 15-20 buns.
I plan to share these tomorrow in celebration of Easter. I hope they last that long.