Saturday, April 23, 2011

One A Penny, Two A Penny....

Yesterday we finally took a day off from rehearsals (as it was Good Friday and the school was closed and all....).  I slept in a little, relaxed, and got some baking done.  A nice day if I do say so myself!  What did I bake you ask? Since it is Easter weekend and all, I decided to make some good old hot cross buns.  I remember my Mom making hot cross buns when I was little and I always loved the mildly spiced soft buns with the icing on top! This really is a nostalgic thing for me. I remember a distinct flavour and texture of these buns.  I have tried other recipes but they just didn't fit the bill. 

Years ago I scanned the recipe from my Mom's Purity cookbook.  It is a coil bound cook book with some real gems in it and still uses some very old fashioned language that I find so very neat. One of my sisters has it now and I couldn't find the scan.  Lucky for me, I actually found a newer re print version of the Purity Cook Book from 1967 last summer in the recycling  hut out at the cabin.  I opened the door to put my recyclables in the hut and found a stack of cookbooks just sitting there waiting for me.  It was just meant to be! 

When I make these, I just somehow feel  a bit closer to my Mom, as though she were back in the kitchen with me. I do miss her more during the holidays and I do find it interesting that something as simple as hot cross buns can help bring back so many memories.
Without further ado, I bring you hot cross buns:

Hot Cross Buns - Printable version

1 cup hot milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp sugar
1 pkg  active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 egg yolk (save the white for the egg wash later)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cups raisins or currants
another 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour

In the bowl of your stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or a bowl and use a wooden spoon) place:
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
Heat the milk (original recipe says to scald the milk but I put it in the microwave for 2 minutes).  Pour the hot milk over the sugar, salt, and butter. Mix until the butter melts and the sugar gets mixed in.  Allow this mixture to cool while proofing the yeast.

Now get the yeast working. In a bowl mix together and let it stand for about 10 minutes until all foamy:
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 pkg dry active yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast)

Add the yeast mixture to the hot milk mixture and stir.
Now add:
  • 1 slightly beaten egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup raisins or currants (I didn't have any so I didn't add any)
Beat until smooth, then switch to the dough hook (if using a stand mixer) and add another 2 1/2 cups to 3 cups flour.

Mix until a soft, smooth, and elastic dough forms this may take about 5 minutes.  If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour. 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and continue to knead by hand (get that stress out!)

Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl, turning the ball to coat the dough.  Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place in a warm spot to rise until double (about an hour)

Punch the dough down and divide into 2 equal portions, use a scale if you wish to make it really even!  Divide each half into 9 pieces and shape into a flattened bun.

Arrange on a lined baking sheet about 2" apart.  Cover with a clean tea towel and place back in that warm spot to double in size.(about 45 minutes).  This is a good time to pre heat the oven to 400.

Fetch that left over egg white mix in 1 tbsp water.  Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash.

Using a sharp knife, cut an x (or a cross, a long the top of the bun.

Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 15 to 18 minutes.

Now it is time to make the icing!

Mix together:
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp hot milk (or water)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla (or more if you like more vanilla)
Mix well and drizzle over the hot buns, following the cut marks in the buns.


Until next time, stay warm and eat well!


  1. these buns would be perfect for my breakfast. they certainly beat the cornflakes i had this morning. i find that drizzle "x" design so cute :)

  2. Lori-I'm familiar with the cookbook, my mother, too, had the coil binded verision but I few years ago I actually stumbled across the same cookbook (sans the coils) You can't beat it for the old standards.

    Have a Happy Easter.

    Linda M.

  3. hi! lomo u give nice name this post my son rhyme;) and cross buns looks just yummmmmm.......

  4. Glad you had a good day off, Lori. Good deal. Those are always wonderful to have. Have a great rest of the night and an oogie boogie week.

  5. I love the recipes that take you back....beautiful job on these.

  6. I have never tried hot cross buns! Looking at these, I think I need to. Such a nice story about this recipe reminding you of your mom.. food plays such a big roll in our lives...

  7. Sleeping in and baking ... that is close to having the perfect day!! ;-) Those buns look so soft and yummy!!

  8. I love hot cross buns. I didn't make any for Easter, but I am seriously thinking I may need some for Mother's Day! Those look delicious.


Go ahead, make my day.....I love comments!! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!