Hot Cross Buns

We eat a lot of cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies…but to be honest, our breakfast menu is pretty boring. Most of the time we have toasts and cereal. If time allows, we will make omelette. On weekends, we will go for pancakes, waffles or French toasts. When I went on to Internet to look for some weekday breakfast ideas, hot cross buns came to my eyes a lot of time. Maybe because Easter is around the corner. And I decided to try one of my favourite bakers, Pioneer Woman’s recipe.

I didn’t go all the way to make the icing, instead I followed the classic and made a flour and water paste for the crosses. Just trying to lie to myself that it might contain less sugar, and you could eat more.

I am not really into the historical background about Passover and hot cross buns. But when I found out the Christian tradition is to eat them on Good Friday only, I just feel bad for them. Because these comforting buns are too good to be eaten only on Good Friday. 

The rich yeasty smell, the tasty sweet flavour, the sticky golden exterior…these hot cross buns are perfect components of afternoon tea or breakfast or snack or any time you want to eat them.

Ingredients (12 buns):
Bun
2 cups milk, warm to touch
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
Cross Topping
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 tablespoons water
Hot Glaze
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water

Directions:
To prepare buns, in the large mixing bowl, mix milk, canola oil and 1/2 cup sugar. Sprinkle yeast over mixture. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Stir in 4 cups of flour to combine. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let sit in a warm place for an hour to rise.
When the dough is risen, add the remaining 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar. Set aside.
Move the dough to a lightly floured surface. Press to slightly flatten the dough. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons cinnamon sugar and a third of the dried cranberries over the dough. Fold the dough over on itself and flatten again. Repeat the process two more times, ending by folding the dough in on itself.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces. With floured hands, quickly roll the pieces into balls. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, one inch apart. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for another hour.
Preheat oven to 400F.
To prepare the paste for the cross topping, mix the flour and water until smoothly combined. Transfer to a piping bag with a small opening. Pipe cross on each roll. Transfer to oven and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top.
To prepare hot glaze, bring sugar and water to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Brush the hot glaze over the hot buns. Let the buns cool completely.

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