The other day we had our two youngest granddaughters over.
Then, our friend, whom we've hired to paint the trim, molding and doors inside our house,
asked if he could bring his daughter with him to work since it's spring break.
Our grandgirlies are friends with her, so they were very excited.
On a whim, I decided to make Hot Cross Buns with the girls.
I've never made them before, but yeast breads are one of my favorite things to bake,
so I was pretty confident we could handle it.
Cooking with the kiddos, the buns aren't perfect to look at.
(Actually, I doubt they'd be perfect without the kids' involvement!)
But, they were fun to make, and quite tasty to eat.
They have just the right amount of sweetness to be the perfect Easter breakfast
accompanied by the protein of some of those colored boiled eggs you wonder how to use up.
I enjoyed my Hot Cross Bun with my morning coffee,
but they'd be great with afternoon tea as well.
The design of the cross on the top of the buns, gave me a good opportunity to talk with the girls about
Good Friday and the fact that Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins.
Then we were able to talk about Easter and the hope that we have because Jesus rose from the dead.
We also sang Hot Cross Buns a dozen or more times throughout the baking process!
You still have time before Easter to gather your children or grandchildren,
don your aprons, and give baking Hot Cross Buns a try.
Even if they don't look perfect, I don't think you'll be disappointed in the taste.
HOT CROSS BUNS
Heat 3/4 cup milk in microwave until very warm to the touch, but not boiling.
Add 2 pkgs. dry yeast, (4 1/2 teaspoons yeast)
Add 1/3 cup sugar
Whisk all of the above and let sit until yeast is "proofed", which means it looks foamy and bubbly.
To this mixture add:
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
3 lightly beaten eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix together then add:
3 1/2-4 cups all purpose flour
Combine and knead with the dough hook on your mixer, or by hand, approximately three minutes.
Add 2/3 cup dried currants or raisins and knead to combine.
If dough is too soft add a little more flour when you add the dried currants.
Shape dough into ball.
Place into a large greased or non stick sprayed bowl and turn dough over once.
Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with non stick spray and let rise until double in size,
about 1 1/2 hours.
(This is a good time to let the kiddos watch a movie, play outside, or play a game.)
Punch down the dough and let rest 10 minutes.
Shape into 18-20 round, smooth balls.
( Or, not so smooth if the kiddos are making them. I may have tried to reshape a few. Shhh! Don't tell!)
Place on greased baking sheet about an inch or so apart.
With a serrated knife, cut a shallow cross in the top of each bun.
Cover again and let rise until double in size, about 30-45 minutes.
Lightly brush the tops with a lightly beaten egg white.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.
Remove from baking sheet and let cool on a cooling rack.
When cool, using a pastry tube, or a plastic freezer bag with one corner cut off,
pipe a cross on top of each bun with a glaze made of 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and a wee splash of milk.
(Other options would be to make a glaze with the juice and zest of one orange and powdered sugar,
which would be delicious. In my case, I had leftover cream cheese frosting in my refrigerator, so I just used that.
It was thicker than a glaze, so it doesn't look as nice, but it was sure yummy!
(Cream Cheese Frosting-
8 oz. softened cream cheese,
1 cube of softened butter,
1 teaspoon vanilla,
1 lb. powdered sugar
Beat with mixer until smooth and creamy)
Also sharing at the Share It One More Time Link Party