Prep 25 mins
Cook 12 mins
These small yeast buns, freckled with currants or raisins, and sometimes fruit and nuts, are traditionally served on Good Friday. They are slashed with a cross just before baking and the cross is filled with icing after they've cooled. I usually make them and freeze them unfrosted, ahead of time. Then on Easter morning I warm them in the oven and frost them for breakfast or brunch.
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 packages active dry yeast (5 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
- 3⁄4 cup milk
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1⁄2 cup raisins or 1⁄2 cup currants
- 1⁄4 cup chopped blanched almond
- 2 tablespoons chopped mixed candied fruit
- 1 large egg, beaten with
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
- 2 -3 tablespoons cream or 2 -3 tablespoons milk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
- Measure the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and lemon zest into a large mixing bowl or into the work bowl of a food processor.
- Heat milk to boiling in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Remove from heat and add the butter.
- Stir until the butter is melted.
- Stir in the eggs.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, and process or mix with an electric mixer until the dough is smooth but soft, about 2 minutes.
- Mix in the raisins, almonds, and candied fruits.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Turn the dough out onto an oiled surface.
- Dust the dough with flour and knead to express air bubbles.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal parts.
- Shape each into a round ball.
- Place the balls of dough, smooth side up, about 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Let rise in a warm place, lightly covered, until almost doubled, for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Brush the tops of the buns with the egg glaze.
- Slash a cross in the center of each bun with a sharp knife.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden.
- While the buns bake, mix the icing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Place the icing into a pastry bag with a small tip.
- Slide the parchment onto the counter top to cool or transfer the rolls onto a wire rack to cool.
- Pipe the icing into the shape of a cross on top of each bun.
- Serve warm.
- Makes 16 buns.
- Beatrice Ojakangas.
- The Great Holiday Baking Book.
Overall success. Unusual recipe where yeast goes in with dry ingredients. So it is fast. But a little slow to rise. I added 2t of ground cardamon, and a touch of nutmeg; I used candied kumquats (because I had some) in place of orange peel. Actually quite delicious. Bottoms got too brown because I put them too low in the oven, so watch carefully while baking. But the cardamon and nutmeg, and the almond flavoring in the frosting made these really yummy, if a bit denser than I had hoped.
Nice hot cross bun although I am used to a cinnamon based bun. If you have a small oven you probably will need less baking time - the glaze browns very quickly. I found the icing was too runny - I would halve the amount of liquid at least and then very cautiously add more as needed.