Are hot cross buns part of your Lenten tradition?
These lightly-sweetened buns, mindfully decorated with an icing cross, are a treat whether you've given up other sweets for Lent or not. Check out the A Nun's Life team's baking efforts in the video, and scroll down for the recipe, so you can bake your own hot cross buns.
Hot Cross Buns
Adapted, with gratitude, from King Arthur's Flour.
• 1/4 cup apple juice, rum, or whiskey
• 1 cup (78g) dried fruit of your choice (chopped into small pieces, if necessary)
• 1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature
• 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk (save the white; see below)
• 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
• 2 teaspoons instant yeast
• 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 large egg white, reserved from above
• 1 tablespoon milk
• 1 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• pinch of salt
• 4 teaspoons milk, or enough to make a thick, pipeable icing
Lightly grease a 10" square pan or 9" x 13" pan.
Mix the whiskey, rum, or apple juice with the dried fruit, cover bowl with a glass lid, and microwave briefly, just till the fruit and liquid are very warm.
Keep the fruit set aside. Mix together all of the remaining dough ingredients (including the eggs and the egg yolk from the separated egg). Knead the mixture, using an electric mixer, until the dough is soft and elastic. It will be very sticky. Mix in the cooled fruit and any liquid not absorbed.
Let the dough rise for 1 hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk.
Divide the dough into billiard ball-sized pieces, about 3 3/4 ounces each. You'll make 12 to 14 buns. Use your greased hands to round them into balls. Arrange them in the prepared pan.
Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for 1 hour, or until they've puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it over the buns.
Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove from the oven, carefully turn the buns out of the pan (they should come out in one large piece), and transfer them to a rack to cool.
Mix together the icing ingredients, and when the buns are completely cool, pipe it in a cross shape atop each bun.