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  • Writer's pictureDawn Hames

Hot Cross Buns

With the first day of Spring under our belt, we are ready for more sunshine, budding trees, and the first rain that brings the green grass. With spring comes Easter, and some traditional Easter cooking. Chocolate bunnies, pussy willows and homemade hot cross buns are all part of our Easter traditions. There is really no comparison between a homemade hot cross bun and a store-bought one. The aroma and taste of freshly baked hot cross buns is always a special treat for the Easter season. Both of my grandmothers and my mom made hot cross buns which we enjoyed from Good Friday right until Easter. My favorite part was the sweet taste of buttercream icing in the cross of the bun.

Hot Cross Buns

1 package (or 1 tablespoon) active

dry yeast

1 cup warm water (110 -115 degrees)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/4 cups water hot water

2 tablespoons lard

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)

1 cup raisins

2 teaspoons sea salt

5 3/4 - 6 1/4 cups unbleached all-

purpose flour

Mix the first three ingredients together in a small bowl. If you do not have a thermometer, the water should be the same temperature that you would give to a baby in a bottle. If the water is too warm the yeast will die, and the bread will not rise. If the water is not warm enough, the yeast will not grow. The teaspoon of sugar is food for the yeast. Allow the yeast to sit until it bubbles. Next, in a separate bowl pour the hot water over the lard, butter, sugar and salt and stir until all is dissolved. Allow this mixture to cool to the baby bottle temperature. Add both the yeast mixture and the sugar lard mixture together. Add in the raisins and the cinnamon. Stir in 4 or more cups of flour, adding the flour in 1 cup then 1/2 cup portions. When the dough is to stiff to stir in any more flour, then you will add the flour by kneading it in. With the remaining flour, flour a surface to knead the flour in. Knead the remaining flour in until the dough is workable and not sticky. Then knead the dough for 8 minutes. If you are out of practice your arms may get tired. It is o.k. to rest, but the dough still needs to be kneaded for the full 8 minutes. Place the dough in a buttered bowl. Place away from cool drafts, a warm area is best. Cover with a piece of wax paper and let rise for 1 hour. Remove the wax paper and punch the bread dough down. Use the dough to form into 24 – 30 buns. Cover the formed buns with wax paper. Allow the buns to rise for 1 – 2 hours. Cut a cross on the top of each bun with a sharp knife. Bake the buns at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Brush with melted butter, or for a sweet glaze brush with a honey and melted butter blend when you take them out of the oven. When they are cool, mix up a batch of butter cream icing and ice the top of the buns in the cross.

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