In a small saucepan over medium low heat, add the milk to scald it. This is done by gently warming the milk until it becomes frothy around the edges. You may notice a thin layer appear on the top of the milk, just remove from the heat and stir a little to remove it.
Pour the milk into a bowl or glass measuring cup.
Allow the milk to cool to warm. I like to put ours in the fridge for a few minutes to help it along, but you cannot use cold milk so don't forget it!
Meanwhile, heat the water, baking soda and raisins in a small saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Allow to boil gently for 2 minutes, the raisins should be big and plump, and drain in the sink, leaving the raisins in the strainer to cool. Give them a gentle rinse very quickly under water to help speed up the process but do not thoroughly rinse them.
In a small bowl combine the lukewarm milk, sugar and yeast. Stir gently and let it rest until the yeast activates and it begins to look foamy.
In the bowl of your mixer add 4 cups of flour, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
Add the eggs and butter to the yeast mixture and stir until the butter is melted.
Pour the yeast mixture over the flour mixture, and using the dough hook attachment, mix for about 5 minutes at medium speed. Add up to 1/4 cup more flour if you notice time is almost up but the mixture is still clinging to the sides.
Add raisins and continue mixing for another minute. They will add a little moisture, but it should still start to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Let the Dough Rise:
In a large bowl add a bit of oil, now place the dough in the bowl, rolling it around so that it gets oil all over. The dough is extremely sticky, so using a bench scraper is really helpful.
Cover the bowl with a towel. Let the dough rise for a couple hours until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Shape and Bake the Buns:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper, then spray with nonstick spray.
Punch down the dough, and cut it into 12 equal pieces and roll each one in your hands quickly to make a dough ball. Place the rolls in the pan and cover with a clean towel and let them rest for another 30 minutes until doubled in size.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
While baking, make the sugar syrup by heating the sugar with the water in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to boil the syrup for about another minute or until syrup thickens very slightly. Set aside.
Remove the rolls from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes.
Brush the tops with the sugar syrup and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Using the icing, pipe down the center of each row and then across each row to create a cross on each bun. Serve warm!
For the Icing:
Whisk all the ingredients together and spoon into a piping bag with a round tip and refrigerate until ready to use. You want the icing to be a little thick so it holds shape on the rolls.
The best way to reheat hot cross buns is to place them in a plain paper bag, sprinkle the bag lightly with water, and place in a hot oven 3 to 5 minutes before serving.
The Softest Hot Cross Buns
Amount Per Serving (1 bun)
Calories 569Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Vitamin A 302IU6%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Yeast Bread Recipes and Quick Bread Recipes