Bread Machine Makes Quick Work of Hot Cross Buns
Do you have a bread machine gathering dust in your garage? I do. It was given to me when I first joined the Fleischmann’s Yeast brand in the heyday of the electric bread maker.
Shortly after, I wrote and co-produced a bread machine cookbook, working with the company’s skilled home economists, who created a wide variety of recipes that they tested in all makes and models of bread machines in the company’s test kitchens.
I’ve baked bread from scratch for many years so I didn’t really need a bread machine. But I’ve kept that old machine, and every Easter, I dust it off and return it to the kitchen to make hot cross buns.
Why the bread machine? These days, I really don’t have time to mix up dough, knead it, let it rise, shape it, let it rise again and bake. With the bread machine, I dump the ingredients in at once, set it to the dough cycle, then take out the dough, already kneaded and risen. I just shape, let rise for 10 minutes, and bake! How easy is that?
The recipe for Hot Cross Buns below is one from that original cookbook. Don’t be alarmed at the length of the ingredient list. The first nine ingredients go directly into the bread machine to make the dough automatically. The next two are kneaded into the dough by hand. The egg white is mixed with water to brush on the buns before baking. And the last three ingredients make the simple icing.
If you don’t have a bread machine or if you prefer to bake bread by hand, you can get a recipe for making these hot cross buns the conventional way at the Fleischmann’s Yeast website.
I set my Hot Cross Buns on parchment squares and group them on a bed of wheat grass for my Easter table.
To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.
Hot Cross Buns
Use a 1 1/2 pound bread machine for this recipe.
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, cut up
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons Fleischmann’s Bread Machine Yeast
1/2 cup dried currants or dark raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped dried or candied pineapple
1 egg white
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 3 teaspoons milk
Add all milk, eggs, butter, salt, flour, sugar, lemon peel, nutmeg and yeast to the bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. (I add in this exact order for mine.) Select dough/manual cycle. (My machine takes 1 ½ hours.) When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine to a lightly floured surface. Knead in currants, pineapple, plus enough extra flour (if necessary) to make dough easy to handle. If dough is too elastic, cover and let rest 10 minutes before shaping.
Divide dough into 12 equal pieces; form each piece into a smooth ball. Place on a large greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in size, 15 to 20 minutes. With sharp knife, cut a shallow cross in the top of each bun. Lightly beat egg white with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of buns. Bake at 375°F for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden.
Remove from sheet, cool on a wire rack. Mix powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 to 3 teaspoons milk to make icing of piping consistency. Place icing in a pastry bag with small round tip. Pipe a cross of icing on top of each bun. Or drizzle buns with icing.
Makes 12 buns.
Note: I used orange peel instead of lemon peel and instead of the pineapple, I used dried apricots. You can substitute an equal amount of any dried fruit you like.
Recipe adapted from Fleischmann’s Yeast
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