hot cross buns!

This year is the first time I've attempted to make hot cross buns for Good Friday, and after eating half the batch in one sitting, I'm wondering what took me so long?

As a Christian and lover of all things food, I often find myself envious of my Jewish friends who seem to have unique foods for every holiday. There's something so powerful about special meals and flavours that only come out once a year, to mark a special time. Tasting, smelling, preparing - these are all things that help us remember and Good Friday is all about remembering. Remembering the King who became a slave, the truest friend we could ever have becoming an enemy, the perfect becoming the soiled, all on our behalf to bring our rebellious hearts back to our Father.

I'd like to quote Isaiah 53 at length here, as I feel it's so powerful and so important, today of all days. If you'd like to skip through just to find the recipe, I don't mind at all (it's below).
He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Turns out, Christians don't have many foods to mark holidays, but there are a few, and hot cross buns have become common place to make and eat on Good Friday. There's nothing special about this simple spiced bun, except instead of a simple glaze topping, the icing is in the shape of a cross.

We enjoyed these this morning and I think we've found a new tradition. Of course my reflective reading and warm tea time lasted about five minutes, but that's life with three kids! I read several recipes to prepare but ultimately combined them all into my own version. I don't use the traditional currants because I don't know where to find any, and used orange zest instead of more traditional lemon zest. Very simple and yummy, and not at all hard to make. Just make sure you're patient with the rising times - they really do make or break the recipe!

Hot Cross Buns

Dough ¾ cup 2% milk, warmed
4 tsp instant dry yeast
⅓ cup sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup canola oil (I'd love to try melted butter next time)
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
zest of an orange
pinch salt
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
dash of clove
Hot Glaze ½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
(I found this glaze recipe made about 3x too much, so feel free to heavily glaze or divide the recipe in three.)

Icing*  ¾ cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp 35% whipping cream
(again, I didn't need this all, and I heavily iced mine)

  1. Mix all dough ingredients together in the Stand Mixer (Yes! No special order, just dump it all in!) with the dough hook on, and mix until one big ball of dough. If you don't have a stand mixer, it might work best to first mix wet ingredients together, then add to sifted dry ingredients. 
  2. Once the dough is one ball, put in a lightly oiled bowl and let to rise until doubles in size (about 2 hours)
  3. Once doubled, divide into 12-16 small balls of dough and place, evenly spaced, in an oiled or buttered 9x13 dish and then cover with plastic for a second rise for about 45 minutes (TRUST ME)
  4. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or so, until light brown on top
  5. Once out of the oven, cover with glaze (all the glaze ingredients together, warmed)
  6. Once cooled, pipe crosses on each bun with the icing* (icing is totally optional, these are lovely just glazed)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3.4.18

    These look delicious, and thanks for sharing the verses!

    I saw a shelf at a friend's house recently that might fit your decor well. I just posted a link to the Ikea shelf on your previous post about looking for a shelf for your kids' room. I'm not sure if you check the comments that far back so thought I'd let you know here in case you want to look back to check it out. :-)