Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hot Cross Buns and Happy Easter!

Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I thought I'd share an old (old, old, old) favorite today. I thought maybe someone (Ruthy?) had done this post before but since I don't see it in the labels, I'm going to assume I AM THE FIRST. Don't correct me if I'm wrong!

  So, it's Good Friday (technically Holy Saturday by the time you read this) and hot cross buns are a tradition in our family. You can read about the history of it here. There are some funny superstitions, too, like the belief that they won't go moldy. (I can't check that one since they're already gone, but I'll be a skeptic and say that's false.) Also, some believe that you should keep one on hand for medicinal purposes. Hmmmm, now that I think about it penicillin is a mold, right? Just perhaps someone was cured from a moldy hot cross bun in olden times? Probably not, but a fun theory.

 So, this is what you'll need:
  Combine milk and water in a pan and heat to just steaming. let it cool a bit and sprinkle on the yeast and a bit of the sugar. 

 Whisk the butter, eggs, and vanilla together. (Hey, it's looking at me!)
 Wait ten minutes while the yeast gets all happy and has a little yeast party. Add the egg and butter to this mix.
  Mix the flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon (we ran out! Crisis!), ginger together and make a well in the flour. Add the liquid mixture and stir until it's all sticky. Add the currants and mix well.
 Turn the whole thing onto a floured surface and kneed until elastic, about seven minutes. Then put it in a greased bowl, in a warm place, and let it double in size. This usually takes about an hour but it only took 40 minutes so I decided to call it good.

 Form into small balls and place in greased pans. Let them rise again. Do some dishes, some laundry, put the kids in the bath, return a few phone calls, iron church clothes, and track down the puppy who got out of the fence and is wandering the neighborhood.
Or not. You could always just sit down and read for a while. That's always an option.
 When they're nice and puffy, put them into a preheated 375F oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Your whole house will smell like EASTER.
 (I forgot to take a pic after forming them into balls, so here's a picture of my oven!)
 The icing should be nice and soft. Or whatever. I'm just making it up at this point. Let's just say, icing goes on the buns in the shape of a cross.
 Awwwww. MMMMMMM.....
 I love the blend of nutmeg and ginger and cinnamon.
 Our favorite part?? The eating!!! My oldest is giving me the "Are you really taking a picture of me right now? You didn't even let me brush my hair!"
 Happy Easter everyone! 





  1. Oh, yum, I love hot cross buns!!!!! I never thought of making them though. Definitely must try that. I usually pick mine up at a little German bakery close by. Divine. They put in candied peel as in Christmas cake, you know? Love those hot cross bunny smiles on your girls!

    1. I don't know anyplace here that makes them but I did have them when I lived overseas. YUMMY.
      And yes, what a shocker to see the girls! They're usually hiding off camera. but the little guys had already gone to bed and I needed HUMAN PROPS. lol

  2. Oh, I love this! I love tradition, I love tweens and teens and who cares about the recipe, those girls are so stinkin' beautiful! Thank you so much for this recipe, Virginia.... and you can find Hot Cross Buns all over the Northeast during Lent and Eastertide. Every grocery store and most bakeries will have them, the bakeries tend to have them for Fridays...

    So I grew up having hot cross buns, although homemade is better. Way better. The sweet bread recipe from Wednesday would make a nice, chewy hot cross bun, too.... I love bread recipes, I love how simple changes make a world of difference.... kind of like life. :) Happiest of Happy Easters!

    1. Well, depends on which home made it! I think our milk was a little too hot or the room not warm enough for rising because these were a little dense. Or maybe they were the same as last year and I'd just forgotten what they were like??
      MMMMM, bakeries! We have a tortilleria and a panaderia. All sorts of sweet breads but not hot crossed buns! I'll have to post some Easter Mexican breads next year.

    2. Those girls were all over eating hot cross buns at 10PM but maybe not so into having their pictures taken. But as always, they were such good sports!

  3. Sigh. I haven't found a gluten free recipe but they are wonderful. Know your Easter will be blessed with all those happy faces.

    1. Julie, I just googled and found TONS of recipes. Here's a link to the Top 20, all in one spot. :)
      Have fun!