These traditional buns with a delicate orange flavor are always on our Easter menu. But my family enjoys them so much that I also prepare them throughout the year.
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 3/4 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- EGG WASH:
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 to 4 teaspoons milk
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, eggs, butter, salt, cinnamon and allspice and 3 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in raisins, lemon and orange peel and enough flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 24 pieces. Shape each into a ball. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Beat remaining egg with water; brush over rolls. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
- For icing, combine sugar, butter, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Pipe an "X" on top of each bun. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Hot Cross Buns in Best of Country Breads 2000, p93
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