Each Easter morning begins with Hot Cross Buns. These are always served with dyed Easter eggs, fresh fruit and orange juice. This is always the way we begin our special day. It is indeed a glorious day. Yes, of course, the big Easter dinner will take place much later in the day but the day will be off to a grand start with this traditional breakfast.
This recipe goes to gather so quickly with a bread machine. Of course, you can mix the dough by hand and knead it too. Tradition in England says that by sharing a hot cross bun with someone you guarantee friendship throughout the coming year.
I have posted this recipe before but I truly hope this year you will make the time to try these wonderful buns with those you love. They can be prepared a day or two ahead and will still be delicious on Easter morn.
Hot Crossed Buns
1/2 cup orange juice, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
Orange zest from one orange
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup golden raisins or currants, optional*
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add ingredients except raisins to the bread pan of a bread machine in the order listed.
Use the dough setting and the 1 pound setting to mix the bread.
Remove the dough from the machine and place on lightly floured surface. If desired, knead raisins or currents into the dough. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into 9 equal balls and place on parchment paper. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size. Allow at least 1 to 1/2 hours for this step.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Clip or cut a cross on top of each bun. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a rack to cool.
Meanwhile prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon orange juice and vanilla extract. Add additional orange juice if needed to reach an icing consistency. Pipe icing into cross cut on buns.