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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hot Cross Buns for Easter

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 egg
1/2 cup raisins
Butter or Smart Balance
Sugar for sprinkling (optional)

  1. Add the warm water, sugar, yeast, spices, and oil in a bowl. Let rest for a couple of minutes.
  2. Mix the egg and 1 cup of flour into the other ingredients so the egg is separated.
  3. Add the remaining flour and mix until the flour and dough are combined.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Spread out the dough in to a rectangle (you can use a rolling pin to help) then sprinkle half the raisins over the top.
  7. Fold in half and repeat with the remaining raisins. Knead the dough some more to make sure the raisins are inside.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Once all the buns are shaped, cover (I used a dish towel) and let rise a second time. I gave them a hour.
  11. After the second rise, use a knife to score a cross on top of each bun.
  12. Melt the butter product of your choice (I used Smart Balance) in the microwave.
  13. Apply the melted butter to the top of each bun. You can also sprinkle with sugar for added sweetness.
  14. 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.


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