I’ve been thinking of adding a Hot Cross Buns recipe to my blog around Easter time for years, but one thing has stopped me:
Made the traditional way, I just don’t really like them.
My family is mostly English and Irish. The English are some of my favorite people. They have delightful accents, but are not necessarily known for their food. The British food stereotype seems to be one of two: bland or stinky.
Oh, they’ve had a few hits: Fish and chips, tea, crumpets, delicious roasts… these are all foods I can get behind. However kidney pie, shepherd’s pie, bubble and squeak… These are foods that (in my opinion) could use some work. In general, I also put hot cross buns in this category.
As I see it, you have two choices when you are making hot cross buns. You can make them the traditional way- lightly spiced with crosses made with that tasteless flour and water paste… OR you can pack them full of sweet and spice, and the zest of oranges, drench them with a delicious apricot glaze, and make your crosses out of a delicious mixture of cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon.
Even the stodgiest traditionalist won’t miss the originals when they taste these sticky, flavor packed buns.
Enjoy these with a cuppa tea this Easter.
A Rumbly in my Tumbly original
1 box Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix (I love this stuff)
1 cup hot water (120°-130°)
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup apricot jam or orange marmalade
2 teaspoons water
2oz softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp lemon extract
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non stick spray and place parchment paper on the bottom.
Combine flour and yeast packets from the Hot Roll Mix into a mixer. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves and mix together. Add the butter, egg, and hot water and mix on low for 4 minutes. Add the raisins and orange zest and mix on low for one more minute. Dough will be VERY sticky.
Prepare a surface with lots of flour and turn your dough out onto the surface. Gently knead the dough, sprinkling with more flour to reduce stickiness, until easy to work with and elastic in a nice ball. Cover with a mixing bowl for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, remove your dough ball from under the bowl and cut it into 16 equal pieces. Roll each one into a ball and place them evenly in your 9×13 pan (you can use to 8×8 pans if you are taking them to two different places, like me. ) Cover (I use a piece of foil sprayed with cooking spray) and place in a warm place (80-90°) for at least 30 minutes, until doubled in size. * * I do this by preheating my oven to 200° during the dough making process, turning it off, and then putting my dough in the warm but turned off oven to rise.) * *
Once your buns have risen, preheat your oven to 375°. Place your buns in the oven till golden, about 15 minutes. While buns are baking make your glaze and cross frosting:
For the glaze: Heat in the microwave your preserves and water. Mix well and strain the bits of apricot/orange out of it with a fine colander. Set aside.
For the cross frosting: Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Place in a pastry bag (or a ziplock bag with the tip cut off for piping.
When your buns are nice and golden, remove them from the oven and immediately brush them with the apricot glaze. Cool them to room temperature, and then pipe the cream cheese frosting on them in crosses.
These are best eaten on the same day, with a nice cup of tea. Store in an airtight container.