Hot Cross Buns © llizard aka ejm 2001, 2002

Ingredients (makes 12 buns) Preparation
  1. Starter Dough: In a smallish bowl, mix yeast with sugar and lukewarm water (do the baby's bottle test on your wrist) and let sit until mixture starts to bubble. (about 10 minutes)

  2. In a large bowl, whisk milk powder into the rest of the water.

  3. Add the yeast mixture to the milk. Add all the flour and stir just enough so the consistancy is like slightly lumpy heavy cream.

  4. Cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature til the mixture bubbles up and falls - 3 to 5 hours. (or refrigerate overnight; take it out of the fridge one hour before you make the dough)

  5. Actual Dough: Melt butter and set aside to cool.

  6. Combine butter, eggs, spices and sugar and add to Starter Dough. Add fruits, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and mix well.

  7. Add 2 c flour into the wet ingredients, stirring enough to encorporate it to make a rough dough. Cover with plastic and leave for 20 - 30 minutes.

  8. Turn dough out onto floured board (use some of the ½ c for kneading). Sprinkle the salt on top of the dough and let the dough sit for a few minutes as you wash and dry the mixing bowl. If you want, lightly grease the bottom and sides of the bowl with butter, but it isn't necessary.

  9. Knead dough til smooth and elastic - 8 to 10 minutes. Add as little flour as possible to keep dough from sticking (not much more than ½ c). Shape into a ball.

  10. Put dough into the mixing bowl, turning over once, if you greased the bowl, to get a little butter on all sides. (But it really isn't necessary to grease the bowl. I forgot and it didn't seem to make any difference.) Cover with plastic and let rise at room temperature til the dough has doubled.

  11. Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Knead gently a couple of times. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape into round balls. Slightly flatten each one and place buns about 2 inches apart on lightly buttered parchment paper. Cover with a damp towel and let rise at warm room temperature for about 45 minutes (til almost double). Use a serrated knife to make a cross shape cut on surface of dough. Cover again with damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes before putting in oven.

  12. A half hour before baking, turn the oven to 400F. (I bake the buns on a baking stone.) When the buns are put in the oven, turn the oven down to 375F and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes til golden.

  13. Cool on rack on counter.

  14. Glaze (optional): To make glaze, bring ingredients to a boil in small saucepan for 2 minutes. Brush glaze over buns. (I've never bothered with this part)

based on "Hot Cross Buns 06 - Scottish Hot Cross Buns" from rec.food.recipes archive. (http://recipes.alastra.com/) Many thanks to Stephanie da Silva

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