Soft & Sweet Hot Cross Buns

What You'll Need:

Apple Juice or Water Dried Apricots, Cranberries, Cherries, or Blueberries Dried Currants or Raisins Milk Eggs Butter Active Dry Yeast Granulated Sugar Orange Zest Vanilla Extract Cinnamon Cloves or Allspice Nutmeg Ground Cardamom Salt Bread Flour or All-Purpose Flour Apricot Jam or Preserves Powdered Sugar

Add the dried fruit and currants to a medium microwave-safe bowl with the apple juice or water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 30-45s. The wrap will expand then shrink wrap the bowl, sealing in the hot liquid to soften the dried fruit.

Combine the proofed yeast and milk mixture, eggs, sugar, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, salt, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix until combined.

Knead the dough until the flour is combined, then start adding the softened butter, one tablespoon at a time. Let the dough knead for 60s between adding each tablespoon of butter.

Add the dried fruit and any soaking liquid that has not been absorbed and knead this into the dough until the fruit is evenly dispersed.

Transfer the dough to a large, greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Set in a warm place to rise until almost doubled in size, around 1-2 hours.

Turn out the dough onto a clean surface and use a bench scraper, sharp knife, or pizza cutter to divide the dough into 12 evenly sized pieces.

Shape into balls by pinching the ends underneath...

... to create a nice, smooth surface on top.

Place them into a grease 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 30-60 minutes.

When the buns are puffy and ready to go in the oven, whisk the reserved egg white together with 2 teaspoons of water and gently brush over the top of each bun.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the buns are a nice golden brown on top. Use a pastry brush to brush the jam on top of the buns. Let the buns cool while you make the icing.

Transfer the icing to a ziploc bag and snip off the tip to pipe lines down the middle of the buns going both ways to create the crosses. Serve the buns while they are still warm.

Hot cross buns are my favorite breakfast bread! I love how they bake up all puffy and touching, dinner roll style, so that you pull them apart.

These sweet buns originated in England where they were iced with a cross pattern to represent the crucifixion of Jesus. They were baked and served on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent.

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