Friday, April 10, 2009

Hot cross buns


This recipe is from Annunciation Monastery (the founders and sponsors of the University of Mary).

Did you know that hot cross buns have a history? 

The Story Behind Hot Cross Buns
Before England was a Christian country, people celebrated the coming of spring by eating little buns filled with dried fruits. When they became Christian, people kept the custom, but marked the buns with a cross made from melted sugar to remind them of Lent and Holy Week which comes in spring. It was a custom to distribute these buns to the poor, and they were considered a blessing against illness and house fires. Hot cross buns are still baked and sold only during Lent. The making and baking of hot cross buns is a vibrant symbol of the specialness of Good Friday. The cross on the buns reminds us that by the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus we are redeemed.

1/4 cup milk, scalded
1/2 cup corn oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp yeast
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3 beaten eggs
1 egg white
2/3 cups dry currants or golden raisins

What to do:
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water; add beaten eggs and the other ingredients (except egg white) with 1/2 of the flour and beat well. Mix in rest of the flour.

Set dough to rise for 1 hour, punch down and let it rest for 15 minutes. Cut off small pieces of dough and roll into balls about the size of an egg. Let rise until double in size. Cut shallow cross in each bun with sharp knife.

Brush with slightly beaten egg white and bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. When cool, mark top with powder sugar frosting in the form of a cross.

Frosting recipe:
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp water
1 1/2 tsp oil
1 1/2 tsp softened butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine frosting ingredients in a ziplock bag and "smush" to combine. Snip end of baggie and apply.

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