These come together so quickly and easily you’ll want to bake up a batch every Friday (or Saturday, or Sunday, or Monday…). They’re light, slightly sweet with a hint of spice and candied fruit. Delicious but not so much of a Lenten indulgence that you’ll have to go to confession afterward. Use whatever dried fruit is handy. Raisins are very common, currents are very English, citron is very hip, dried apricot is very, um…Louisville. Mix and match them to your heart’s content. Start by assembling your ingredients. Put the dried fruit in a medium microwave-safe bowl and zap until he water starts to boil. Let them sit, plump and cool.
Whisk your liquid ingredients in a medium bowl.
Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle.
Give the dry ingredients a stir to blend them, then add the liquids all at once.
Mix just long enough to moisten them…
…and switch to the dough hook. Knead several minutes until the dough comes together in a soft ball, about like this. If it’s too wet, just add a few tablespoons of extra flour. The dough will be rather sticky and will cling to the bottom of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on and add the soft butter.
Once it’s all incorporated, add the dried and/or candied fruit that you’ve thoroughly drained and pressed in a strainer.
Let the dough rise for about an hour and a half or until doubled in volume.
About like this:
Now cut them into pieces between 2 and 2.75 ounces. I did the larger and got 18 buns. 2-ounces dough pieces will give you about 25.
Shape the pieces into rolls according to the directions in the post How to Shape Buns and Rolls. Paint them with egg wash….
…and let them proof 30-45 minutes or so until the balls are again almost doubled, but still spring back when you poke them. Meanwhile, paint them with egg wash again and preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake them about 20 minutes until they look like this:
Let them cool and apply the icing crosses. I went a little heavy with the icing but hey, Lent is long. I like rack for this so the icing doesn’t pool up between the buns. Serve them warm.
Did I mention you don’t need to be Catholic or even Christian to enjoy a good hot cross bun? Jump in folks, the water’s fine.