Hot Cross Buns

Exactly 32 years ago today, a recipe for Hot Cross Buns was printed in an undetermined newspaper (but my guess is The New Britain Herald) and my grandmother cut it out. She made some notes on it, and the version I have is a photocopy of the original article, dated March 28, 1979. Hot Cross Buns are a Lenten tradition, although there are a lot of different stories about their origin.

Working with dough requires you to go with the flow, because you can never tell exactly what’s going to happen. This dough took much more flour than I expected, probably almost 6 cups by the end. It was still sticky although very elastic, so I set it to rise. And then it didn’t rise very quickly, or as much as I expected. But I kept moving forward, and in the end the texture of the bread was fine. What I like most about these buns is the hint of spice from the cinnamon, and of course, the trademark white cross frosting which I drizzled on with a spoon. Oh yes, these are definitely homemade hot cross buns, but my grandmother wouldn’t have wanted me to eat these any other way.

1 package dry yeast

1/4 c. warm water

3/4 c. milk

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/3 c. sugar

1 t salt

1 t cinnamon

3 eggs

2/3 c. raisins

4-5 c. flour

1/4 c. light corn syrup

1 T light corn syrup

1 T hot water

Confectioner’s sugar

Dissolve yeast in water in a large bowl. Heat milk and butter until warm; add to yeast mixture with sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk in eggs. Stir in raisins. Gradually stir in enough flour (4 1/2 c.) to make a manageable dough. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed. Let rise in a greased bowl for at least 1 hour, or until doubled. Punch dough down, and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough into 24 equal balls. Place them in a 13×9″ pan coated with cooking spray. Let rise in a warm place until doubled. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes, brush with 1/4 c. corn syrup, and then cook for 5 more minutes until golden brown. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Mix 1 T corn syrup, 1 T water, and gradually stir in enough powdered sugar to form a thick frosting. Drizzle on buns with a spoon to form a cross on each bun.

5 thoughts on “Hot Cross Buns

  1. I like the nod to your grandmother. 🙂 I made Polenta few times last week…something that my grandmother always made for us.


  2. These look great. I'm going to try this receipe. I made them on St. Patrick's day for a pot luck supper. Everyone liked them but I thought they were a little dry. I didn't have noni's receipe. I still have yeast. Hopefully Marissa didn't eat all the raisins. Auntie B


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