Jan Kooistra - Our Daily Bread
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Jan Kooistra
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La Belle Cuisine - More Bread Recipes

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...is an act of integrity, and faith,"


Hot Cross Buns




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is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight..."

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According to

The All New, All Purpose Joy of Cooking
The All New, All Purpose
Joy of Cooking

Hot Cross Buns “…originated in medieval England as simple tea rolls, flavored
with dried fruit and spices and crossed with sugar to commemorate Good Friday.”

Hot Cross Buns
Gourmet April 1987

For the buns:
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons (two 1/4-ounce packages) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves [or allspice]
1/2 cup dried currants [or the dried fruit of your choice]
[We like the addition of freshly grated orange and lemon zest.]
An egg wash, made by beating 1 egg lightly with 1 tablespoon milk

For the icing:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Make the buns:  In a saucepan scald the milk, stir in 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, butter, and salt, and let the mixture cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl proof the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water with the remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar and the granulated sugar for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is foamy. Add the milk mixture and stir in the eggs.  Into a bowl sift together 3 cups of the flour, cinnamon, and cloves, add the mixture to the yeast mixture, and beat the mixture with a wooden spoon for 4 minutes, or until it is smooth. In a small bowl toss the currants with 1/2 cup of the remaining flour, stir the mixture into the dough, and stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a firm dough.  Knead the dough on a floured surface, incorporating as much of the remaining flour as necessary to make a smooth and elastic dough, for 6 to 8 minutes. Put the dough in buttered bowl, turn it to coat with the butter, and let it rise, covered, in a warm place for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until it is double in bulk. Punch down the dough, form it into 24 balls, and put the balls 2 inches apart on buttered baking sheets. Let the balls rise, covered, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until they are almost double in bulk. Brush the buns with the egg wash and bake them in a preheated 400-degree F. oven for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they are golden and sound hollow when the bottoms are tapped. Transfer the buns to a rack and let them cool.
Make the icing
:  In a small bowl cream the butter, add the confectioner's sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating, and beat the mixture until it is light. Beat in the salt, Vanilla, and enough of the milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a smooth icing. With a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip pipe the icing to form a cross on each bun. Makes 24 hot cross buns.

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