Traditionaly Hot Cross Buns are eaten on Good Friday, the cross of course represents the crucifiction and the shape of the bun represents the rock that was removed from the front of Christ's tomb when He was resurected on Easter Sunday. Hot Cross Buns were not always associated with Christianity, though. Their origins lie in Pagan Traditions of ancient cultures, with the cross representing the four quarters of the moon.
I was looking for some traditional Easter foods to make for my family and Hot Cross Buns seems to be the popular choice.
Here is a recipe from allrecipes.com:
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm 2% milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon butter, softened
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons dried currants
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 dash ground allspice
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon 2% milk
1.In a small mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in milk. Stir in butter, egg, sugar and salt. Combine 3/4 cup flour, raisins, currants, cinnamon and allspice; add to the yeast mixture and mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
2.Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
3.Punch dough down; shape into six 2-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross on top of each bun. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
4.Beat egg yolk and water; brush over buns. Bake at 375 degrees F for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Combine icing ingredients; pipe over buns.
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