Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday; however, they are also very popular served on Easter Sunday, especially as part of a holiday brunch. They are made with spiced sweet roll dough containing raisins or currants with a frosting cross piped on top. Some of the buns also contain citron.
These traditional buns date back to as early as the 1500’s, where it is said that Elizabeth 1 decreed that they could be sold only on certain days, Good Friday being one of those days. Some historians insist that these sweet buns originated even earlier as a pagan symbol. There is also a popular children’s nursery rhyme about these delicious buns; the rhyme was first published about 1798.
The following recipe is made in the bread machine to save time. It can also be made the traditional way; instructions are at the bottom of the recipe.
24 small sweet buns
1 cup water
1/3 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3 to 4 teaspoons milk
- Place the dough ingredients in the pan of the automatic bread machine; set the machine to the dough cycle and push start. After about 5 minutes, check to see that the dough is firm enough to hold its shape; if it isn't, then add a little more flour.
- After the machine has run for 30 minutes, add the raisins or currants.
- When the dough cycle has finished, transfer the dough to a lightly floured pastry cloth.
- Divide the dough into 24 pieces, and shape each piece into a small ball.
- Place the balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, 12 to a sheet.
- Let rise until doubled in bulk, then with a very sharp knife or razor, cut a shallow cross on the top of each bun.
- Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool thoroughly.
- Mix the frosting ingredients, making the consistency just stiff enough for piping.
- Transfer to a decorating bag and pipe a cross on the top of each of the buns.
Traditional Method: Dissolve the yeast in the water; add the powdered milk and sugar. Add 2 cups flour; mix well, then add the remaining ingredients. Knead until the mixture forms a soft dough that is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down and proceed as in the recipe above.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 151 Calories from Fat 32
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 21% Protein 8% Carb. 71%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 26 mg
Sodium 142 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 2%