Lickety Split

That’s a pretty darned good hot cross bun recipe, all things considered. Start-to-finish you can get the whole thing done in 3 1/2 hours, icing included. And the results are…pretty darned good. All the aromatic spices, combined with the chewiness of the high-gluten flour, gives the buns and old-world quality that’s quite satisfying, especially for a holiday bread. One thing I will say, however, is that if I’d followed the portioning to the letter (i.e. made only a dozen buns) they’d have been huge. My advice: use a scale. The original recipe would have had me making 5 1/2 ounce buns, which is gigantic for that sort of bread. I suggest a 3 to 3 1/2 ounce portion, which is not only more manageable, but gives a nicer proportion of icing to bun. Plus you get more buns out of it. I got 18, which meant I had a few extra to share with the guys who came by to clean the living room upholstery (they were much pleased). So, while Gale’s measuring instructions leave much to be desired, she came through in the end. Bravo!

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