Hot Cross Buns

Our take on the British classic, Hot Cross Buns, has all the hallmarks of the original, bursting with sweet currants, candied orange peel, and warm spices and adorned with a striking cross. Still, we made a few tasty twists, incorporating rich butter and aromatic orange blossom water into our flour paste cross. It’s the perfect bite of time-honored taste and tradition.

Hot Cross Buns
 
Makes 12 buns
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (128 grams) currants
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) hot fresh orange juice (180°F/82°C to 185°F/85°C)
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) warm whole milk (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • ½ cup (120 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 4½ teaspoons (14 grams) active dry yeast
  • 5⅔ cups (708 grams) plus ½ cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature and divided
  • ⅔ cup (90 grams) chopped candied orange peel
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) orange blossom water*
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) water
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine currants and hot orange juice. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand for 20 minutes. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain currants, discarding excess liquid.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, ½ cup (120 grams) warm water, ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together 2⅔ cups (333 grams) flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar. Add flour mixture to yeast mixture, and using the paddle attachment, beat at low speed just until combined. Beat in melted butter and 2 eggs (100 grams). Add currants and candied orange peel, and beat until combined. Gradually add 2⅔ cups (333 grams) flour, beating until combined; scrape sides of bowl
  4. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a smooth, elastic, slightly tacky dough forms, 4 to 6 minutes, adding up to ⅓ cup (42 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is too sticky. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  5. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Loosely cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Spray a 13×9-inch rimmed baking sheet with baking spray with flour.
  7. Lightly punch down dough, and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 12 portions (about 128 grams each). Roll each portion into a ball. Place about ¼ inch apart on prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, buns are touching, and dough holds an indentation when poked, about 40 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  9. In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1 egg (50 grams). Brush tops of rolls with egg.
  10. Clean bowl of stand mixer and paddle attachment. Using the paddle attachment, beat room temperature butter and remaining ½ cup (63 grams) flour at medium-low speed; slowly add orange blossom water and ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) water, beating until a thick paste forms and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Spoon paste into a pastry bag, and cut a ¼-inch opening in tip. (Alternatively, use a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch round piping tip [Ateco #802].) Pipe paste on top of buns in continuous lines following curves of rolls to form a cross over each.
  11. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of a bun registers 190°F (88°C) to 200°F (93°C), 24 to 30 minutes, loosely covering with foil during final 2 to 5 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
*Water can be used in place of orange blossom water.

 

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Hot Cross Buns