The Easter Collection
How you doin’? Hot Cross Buns have a rich and interesting history. They are inextricably linked to Easter and to Christianity, but in reality, they probably have pre-Christian origins.
‘Cross Buns’ were baked to celebrate Eostre, a Germanic Goddess of Fertility, after which the season of Easter is said to be named. Eostre was a voluptuous blonde Germanic maiden, always depicted surrounded by little birds, bunnies and other baby animals, as well as spring flowers (like a Disney cartoon). Cross Buns were baked for the spring festival to celebrate this Goddess. The four quarters of the cross on top of each bun were said to represent the phases of the moon, while the cross itself symbolized rebirth after winter.
These lightly sweetened cinnamon-yeast buns feature tender little currants or other glacéed fruits blended throughout the dough. The egg yolk wash gives these buns a bold, browned, glossy finish, making a perfect background for the namesake cross… a painting of milk and confectioners’ icing.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Proof time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Allow at least: 3-1/2 hours
Yield: 12 buns
For the buns
3/4 cup warm water (110º F)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon instant powdered milk (as a natural dough conditioner)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup dried currants or other dried fruits
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons water
For the cross decorations
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons whole milk
To make the buns
To make decorative crosses
ChefSecret: Make sure you use fresh yeast to maximize the rise of the baked buns you expect.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “Who would have thought that smoking weed at a family gathering, and the illegal part would have been the family gathering?”
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2021
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