Okay, so I have become completely OBSESSED with these! I absolutely love them. The recipe comes from my sister-in-law who is an amazing cook and baker. She keeps some of her favorite recipes posted to her blog HERE.
I have grown accustomed to having these tasty little rolls at Christmas, Easter and even Thanksgiving. They are a great holiday roll and you do most of the work early in the day and just bake them right before dinner.
These do require a bit of work, but trust me, they are SO worth it!
Follow along and I'll show you how to make these tasty guys:
Hot Cross Buns
*Makes about 2 dozen
*Recipe from Monika
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/3 cups craisins
Bun crossing paste (recipe below)
1/2 cup apricot jam
Bun Crossing Paste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup flour (scant) - which means "exactly"
pinch of salt
*in a medium bowl, whisk together oil and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of water. Add flour and salt, and whisk until well combined. Let stand 1 hour before using.
Generously butter a large bowl; set aside. Place 1 cup milk in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Heat until milk reaches 110 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Pour milk into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. With machine on low speed, add granulated sugar, yeast, salt, butter, lemon zest, orange zest, and eggs.
Add flour and mix on low speed until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms around dough hook. Continue kneading, scraping down hook and sides of bowl as necessary, until smooth, about 4 minutes more.
Add craisins; knead with dough hook to incorporate.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead briefly to evenly distribute craisins in dough. Shape into a ball.
Place dough in prepared bowl. Turn once to coat with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Turn dough out onto work surface. Knead briefly and roll dough into a log. Cut log in half and cut each half into 12 equal pieces.
Shape each piece into a tightly formed ball. Place on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Cover baking sheets with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until buns are touching and doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
When you have about an hour of rising time left for the rolls, prepare your bun crossing paste according to directions above. Let stand until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bun crossing paste in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip or a paper cornet with a 1/8-inch opening (or even a plastic zip top bag with a small opening cut into the corner). Pipe crosses over the surface of each bun.
Transfer buns to the oven and bake until golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Cool on racks or leave on sheet pans.
Meanwhile, place apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until heated through; strain through a mesh sieve set over a bowl (I have skipped the staining step and it turns out fine). Brush heated jam over buns.
Enjoy! Store left-overs in airtight containers or zip top bags.