I have a problem of paying $2.50 for one little bun at our neighborhood bakery, and the urge is hard to control. I love Hot Cross Buns! As well I don’t think they should be saved for Good Friday only. This year I could not wait until Easter to devour them so I did not wait. I had a couple, gave some away, and Lenny literally ate about 10 of these delicious little hot cross buns. I am not lying after all this is about one of the holiest bread out there!
You will notice this recipe is a bit different than other hot cross bun recipes. There is a secret ingredient that helps make the buns extra flavorful and moist! That secret is marmalade. I used one of Pim’s marmalade’s, the Bouquet des Fleurs. I love that particular marmalade and have been savoring it for the past year. It gave the bread a slightly citrus flavor, a little tart, a little floral and slightly sweet – the perfect addition to the buns. This recipe also came out very light, fluffy and moist. It is a keeper!
No need to wait until Easter to get your hot cross buns on! Make a batch today or tomorrow and begin enjoying before Good Friday. Then make another batch to enjoy on Easter. Shoot, make this amazing recipe all year long!
** recipe updated March 12, 2016, as Pim no longer makes her wonderful marmalades for sale. I used Bonne Maman which is our next favorite!
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Hot Cross Buns
*inspired by Sunset Magazine
3/4 cup warm whole milk (100 – 110 degrees)
2 packages active dry yeast
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, used freshly grated
1/2 cup marmalade
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried currants
1 egg, beaten – for egg wash
1 tablespoon water
3 teaspoons Meyer lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar
In a bowl of a stand mixer combine the milk and yeast, let stand until the yeast has softened, about 10 minutes. Add the egg, granulated sugar, butter, salt, nutmeg, and marmalade. Beat on medium speed until blended, about 3 minutes.
Using a dough hook, blend in 3 cups of flour. Add just enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly tacky – sometimes I use the entire 3/4 cup and other times I only need 1/2 cup. Beat on medium speed until dough is smooth and stretchy, about 15 minutes. Add the currants, give a couple of whirls of the mixer and then continue to mix with your hands to distribute the currants. Return the dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled about 2 hours.
Punch down dough. With buttered hands, shape into 16 smooth round balls (about 2.5 ounces each). Evenly space apart in 2 buttered 8 or 9-inch square pans. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place until doubled and puffy, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400. Brush buns with an egg wash (one egg and about 1 tablespoon water). Bake until a golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool in pans for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl mix powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Spoon into a small sandwich bag, snip a small hole in the corner and squeeze icing onto the buns to form a large X.