Sunday, April 11, 2021

Hot Cross Buns for our Reunited Easter!


 We had a wonderful Easter!  Since all the adults were vaccinated we could reunite and gather at my house for dinner again this year. What a great feeling! All the grandchildren had a wonderful time together.

 I made Hot Cross Buns for the first time as part of our dessert buffet and was very pleased with how they came out.  Baking at high elevation, especially yeast bread, can sometimes be a challenge as I live over 6,000 feet, so I wasn't sure if they would be as light and fluffy as I hoped. Happily, they were, and they had enough spices and preserved fruit bits in them to be very flavorful but not overly sweet. If you'd like to read the history of Hot Cross Buns and why they are often eaten during the Easter season click here.  The buns are good to enjoy year-round, not just at Easter.  I know I'll be making them often! 


Hot Cross Buns


Ingredients:

Buns:

3 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast (9 grams) 
1/2 cup (110g) sugar 
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk, warm, full fat, or low fat 
4 1/4 cups (640g) bread flour (or plain/all-purpose) 
2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (210g) raisins
1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
Zest from 1- 2 oranges
3.5 tbsp (50g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg at room temperature

Glaze:

1 tbsp apricot jam 
2 tsp water

Sugar Crosses:  

One cup powdered sugar, 3 tbsp. milk, and a drop of vanilla flavoring

Instructions:

Place flour, yeast, sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Briefly mix with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Add butter, milk, egg, raisins, finely chopped apricots, and orange zest.

Stand mixer: Mix until a smooth elastic dough forms - 5 minutes on Speed 2 of a stand mixer. After 1 minute, add an extra 1/4 cup flour if required, just enough so the dough comes away from the side of the bowl when mixing and doesn't stick terribly to your fingers. 

Hand kneading: Alternatively, dust a work surface with flour and knead by hand for 10 minutes.
The dough is kneaded enough when it's smooth and does not break when stretched.

Dough Rise #1:

Leave the dough in the bowl, cover with cling wrap, and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in size. This will take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how warm it is.

Line a 9 x 13" tray with baking paper with overhang.
Remove cling wrap and punch dough to deflate.
Dust work surface with flour, place dough on the work surface, shape into a log - this will deflate the air. Cut into 12 equal pieces.
Take one piece and press down with your palm, then use your fingers to gather into a ball, then roll the dough briefly to form a ball. 
Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Repeat with the remaining dough. Line them up 3 x 4.

Dough Rise #2

Spray a piece of cling wrap lightly with oil (any), then loosely place over the tray.
Return tray to warm place and leave 30 - 45 minutes until the dough has risen by about 75% (less than double in size).
Partway through dough rise #2, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit  (180 C) 

Bake for 22 minutes, or until the surface is a deep golden brown. The surface color is the best test for this recipe.

Glaze: 

Meanwhile, place jam and water in a bowl, microwave for 30 seconds. Mix to combine.
Remove buns from the oven. Use overhang to lift buns onto a cooling rack. (If you do not have apricot jam you can substitute honey or maple syrup as a glaze.) Brush buns with jam mixture while warm. Allow buns to cool before icing.

Icing Crosses:

Mix  
1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
3 Tablespoons of milk and a splash of vanilla extract for plain icing
Pipe a thick cross made from icing on each bun after baking, when buns are cooled and glazed.
Use a piping bag– no piping tip needed– or a zipped-top bag. Snip the corner off. Allow icing to dry before eating.  Enjoy!



As you can see, the grandchildren enjoyed having both sets of grandparents to celebrate with this year.  They are all getting so big!





I made lots of holiday favorites--we had a table full of appetizers to start, followed by stuffed macaroni shells. eggplant rollatini, pineapple glazed spiral ham, leg of lamb and lamb chops, corn pudding, asparagus, broccoli, mixed mushrooms, and batter-fried cauliflower.  



Besides the Hot Cross Buns, I also made a lemon cheesecake, cupcakes for the grandchildren, a blueberry Bundt cake, and my daughter-in-law brought a tray of chocolate pretzel nests that she made with the children.  Needless to say, we were all stuffed!  Happily, everyone took home a tray of leftovers so nothing goes to waste.  



I've been taking lots of hikes into the foothills lately--they really help clear my mind. Easter was a wonderful day after a week before that was very sad.  Thank you to all who commented and consoled me on the terrible tragedy that happened in nearby Boulder, Colorado. That really shook me to my core in its senselessness. I keep praying for a better, kinder, world for my grandchildren to grow up in. Stay positive that we can all be a part of that!


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28 comments:

Little Wandering Wren said...

You are an inspiration for family reunions after vaccination, what a lovely gathering I bet you really enjoyed all your wondering baking knowing that everyone was going to have such a lovely time! Your hot cross buns look amazing.

Angie said...

Pat - I am so happy that you were able to gather and celebrate this most special day in our faith. And no surprise that you had a mouth-watering spread! I am going to rummage around in the kitchen for a snack after this! I will be trying the hot cross buns - I know that it will work here if it works at your elevation! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

eileeninmd said...

Hello pat,
It does look like you and your family had a very happy Easter! Beautiful family photos, it is great to be able to have a family gathering. The food and buns all look delicious.
Take care, have a happy day and a great new week!

Gillena Cox said...

Happy to read of your Easter reunion. Luv the photos. Happy mosaic Monday. I am at #12 on the linky today

Much💛love

Laura | Everyday Edits said...

HI Pat,
That looks like a delicious and perfect Easter Sunday. We got a text from our youngest the day of the Kroger shooting and the text said, "THEY ARE SAFE." Two of his friends from highschool (one was interviewed) were able to get out. We were in Scottsdale with our other son and had just sat down to a nice dinner out and I read our son's text and I burst into tears reading the word SAFE.
We all know the kids who work at our local grocery stores and my thoughts went to all of their parents. Easter was a great day to celebrate gratitude.

laura in colorado

April J Harris said...

What wonderful photographs of you and your family, Pat, and what a joy to see you all together. You made a real feast for the occasion - everything looks amazing. Thank you for sharing your Hot Cross Bun recipe with us, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party community. Take care and have a lovely week.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Your hot cross buns look great! So glad that you were able to be together this Easter!

lesh Stgermain said...

Am so happy for you, Pat, you could be with your family at Easter, and make all the Easter goodies!! I know this means the world to you:) Thank you for sharing the recipe of the hot cross buns with All Seasons! have a great week, Jesh

Rain said...

Pat....may I PLEASE just dive into the computer and stuff my face with your DELICIOUS food???? How do you do it??? :)

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Blue bunnies...sweet!

Jeanie said...

I know how long you have waited to have this time with your littles and boy, did you do it well! Those buns look marvelous -- I must share this with my resident yeasty-guy! And the rest of the feast? Fabulous. No, I can tell no one left hungry. And I know they all had huge smiles but I bet yours was biggest of all!

Ruth Hiebert said...

I am glad you got to get together. Now if only more people would be willing to get the vaccine. Around here it seems that we have too many that think it is the worst thing ever. all you Easter food looks so good.

stevebethere said...

Wow! sounded like you all had a great Easter and going by the photos and all that delicious looking food you did :-)

Have an eggtastic safe week 🥚 👍

Lowcarb team member said...

Such wonderful photographs and mosaics of you and your family having a happy Easter together ... special times.

All the best Jan

William Kendall said...

I've never had those.

NCSue said...

I hope you and your dear ones will have many more opportunities soon to reconnect in person.
Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2021/04/catbird.html

Hena Tayeb said...

Everything look wonderful.

Barb said...

Pat, I'm so happy to see your family together again. I'm always in awe of your famous food buffets! Everything looks delicious. Stay well - glad you can visit occasionally with family now. We're due snow over the next couple days but the sun is still shining at this point.

ellen b. said...

So wonderful to finally be together again. Those buns and all that food looks amazing!

Sylvia said...

Pat, I am so glad for you! Thanks for sharing the normal. Sylvia D.

Donna @ Modern on Monticello said...

I have been seeing lots of posts about Hot Cross Buns this year and I am very tempted to try them out. Thanks for sharing the recipe. #HomeMattersParty

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Yes, a hike is great to clear the mind and recenter. It's great to see your family get-together, and yum those buns look delicious!!

Amy said...

wow that looks like quite a spread, clever making your own buns too

Michelle said...

Glad that you were finally able to spend time with your family!! It has been a hard year for everyone. I have never tried to bake anything at high elevation. Thanks for linking up!

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Oh my, but the hot cross buns look delicious!!! And what an Easter dinner. . .We, too, were saddened by the event in Boulder. Breaks my heart! Have a wonderful weekend!

MarilynsTreats said...

Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. We appreciate your shares. They have been Tweeted Pinned. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

betty-NZ said...

What a colorful and beautiful celebration!

Thanks for joining us at 'My Corner of the World' this week!

diane b said...

It must have been a wonderful Easter for you all to be together again. You excelled again with the spread. It looks so delicious and the buns too.