Hot cross buns are usually a lenten treat, but today is National Hot Cross Bun Day, so it seemed like a good time to review this recipe for the spiced sweet buns from the California Raisin Marketing Board.
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110°F to 115°F)
4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup California raisins or Zante currants
2 eggs, well beaten
1 egg yolk, diluted with 1 teaspoon water for topping
Lemon Icing (below)
Scald milk; stir in butter and cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Sift flour with sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in raisins until well coated. Stir in eggs, cooled milk and yeast; blend well. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down dough, pinch off pieces, and form smooth, rounded balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place balls of dough on greased baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Brush each bun with diluted egg yolk. Snip 1/2-inch deep cross in center of each bun with greased scissors. Let buns rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 400°F for about 8 to 10 minutes or until buns look lightly browned. Cool on wire racks about 5 minutes. Drizzle on icing to make the cross.
Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon water; beat until smooth.