A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with and enriched dough seeded with currants or raisins, marked with a cross on the top in the tradition of celebrating Good Friday. For our recipe, we decide to add the cross after they are baked for extra deliciousness.
Add to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix well. This step will ensure the salt well disperse before adding the yeast. Salt can inactivate the yeast resulting in flat buns. Set up with a hook attachment.
Add them to the bowl in order. Set up the mixer with the hook attachment.
Mix the ingredients for 2-3 minutes, then stop and scrape down the sides.
Now that the sides have been scraped down, continue mixing at a slightly higher speed for 4 minutes or until the dough looks smoother.
Add the currants and continue mixing at a lower speed for 1 more minute or until the currants are well distributaed in the dough.
Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball. Place it in a separate bowl lightly coated with oil and cover with plastic, then set aside and allow it to proof for 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
While the dough proofs, lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9 inch square cake pan with nonstick spray.
Lightly flour the surface of the table, remove the dough from the bowl and portion it into 16 pieces of approximately 2.5 to 3 oz. each.
Fold each piece of dough onto itself, then place the crease side on the countertop and begin to roll, adding some pressure. Form into a ball and place in the prepared cake pan. Repeat for all rolls.
Loosely cover the rolls with plastic wrap. When proofing yeasty doughs, it is best to control heat and moisture, therefore we suggest you place the covered rolls in a cold oven and place a pot with tap hot water (as hot as possible) in the bottom of it, then close the door and proof fo 1-2 hours.
While the buns proof, measure and add the frosting ingredients to a mixing bowl. Add in order of appearance to prevent loomps, and slowly mix with a spoon or small whisk until well incorporated. Pour the frosting into a pastry or plastic bag and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the yolk and water until well incorporated and set aside.
Remove the rolls from the cold oven. They should feel light and and a bit jiggly to the touch. Carefully remove the plastic wrap and allow them to set at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375°F/ 176°C (medium-high). NOTE: Make sure your oven is empty before preheating!.
Once the oven is preheated, carefully brush the buns with the reserved egg wash.
Place the buns in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the buns are golden brown and springy to the touch.
Once the buns are ready, turn the oven off, then transfer the tray to a heat proof surface and cool for about 30 minutes.
Cut the tip of the pastry or plastic bag. Ice a grid over the buns so each one is topped with an X.
Though these irresistible spiced treats are traditionally eaten at Easter, you can serve them at tea time or as everyday snacks year round.
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