I do love making hot cross buns each year. This year I wanted to try making hot cross bun loaves -- basically a giant hot cross bun big enough to feed a family. I was very pleased with the results and thought you all might like to have the recipe.
The Cooks Next Door was already booked solid this week with some great ideas for Easter brunch, gluten-free Easter desserts, and some delicious Easter cupcakes (be sure to check them out!). So, the only place left to put this recipe was here......
HOT CROSS BUN BREAD
2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. scalded milk
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter (2 ounces or 4 Tbsp.)
5 cups unbleached white flour
zest of 1 orange
1-2 tsp. mixed spice, depending on taste (or 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice plus 1/4 tsp. ground coriander)
1/2 c. yellow raisins (sultanas)
1/2 c. currants
1 egg white plus 2 Tbsp. sugar for glaze
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Pour scalded milk over sugar, salt, and butter. Cool milk mixture to lukewarm and add the dissolved yeast. Mix. Add eggs, 3 cups flour, spice, orange zest, raisins and currants. Add enough extra flour to make a smooth dough -- do not add too much flour.
Turn dough out on floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic -- about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Divide into two and shape into round, semi-flat loaves. Place on a greased cookie sheet and let rise, about 30 minutes. Lightly slash a cross in the top of each loaf.
Brush loaves with beaten egg white mixed with sugar. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked through. Cool on wire racks.
Makes 2 loaves. This recipe is easily doubled, tripled or quadrupled -- although a bread mixer is nice for doing larger quantities.
GLAZE: mix together 1/4 cup butter, 2 cups confectioners' sugar and enough milk to make a thick, but spreadable glaze. Use glaze to draw a cross on the bread.