Hot Cross Buns

Adapted from Allrecipes

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm water (110-120 degrees)

1 tablespoon honey

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 egg

3/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, cherries, currants, cranberries) or candied citrus peel, chopped

1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cream

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon almond extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, water and honey.  Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, until bubbly.  

Add 2 cups of flour, salt, sugar, spices, milk, butter and egg to the bowl.  Using a dough hook, mix for 1 minute on medium speed, until well combined.  Add the remaining flour and mix for 8 minutes on medium.  Add the fruit and mix until well dispersed.  

Transfer the dough to a well-greased bowl; turn to coat the top.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour, until doubled in size.  Punch down the dough and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.  Divide the dough into 12 portions.  Shape into rolls and place in a buttered 9 x 13 inch pan.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  

Before baking, remove the rolls from the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using a sharp knife, cut crosses into the buns.  Brush with the egg and cream mixture.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the buns are golden.  

Combine the powdered sugar, milk, and extract in a small bowl.  Transfer to a small bag and snip the corner of the bag.  Pipe a cross on each bun with the icing.  

Belle of the Kitchen