Good Friday is still a few days away, but we went a little rogue today and made Hot Cross Buns on Palm Sunday. I couldn’t find consensus on what makes the traditional bun, so I didn’t feel too badly about making my own tweaks.
This recipe goes light on the spices, using just a touch of cinnamon and cardamom. I also passed on the citron (blech), and used currants and maraschino cherries instead. A little juice from the cherries gives the dough a light pink color, which always goes over well around here!
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup potato flakes (instant potatoes)
- 1 T. yeast
- 2 t. salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 3 T maraschino cherry juice (or so) plus enough warm water to equal 1 3/4 cups liquid
- 6 T. dairy-free margarine or shortening at room temp
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
- 1/4 cup jam (peach, apricot or orange marmalade) warmed and strained
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 –3 T. fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 t. orange zest
- In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the flour, sugar, potato flakes, yeast, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and the cherry water.
- Knead on low until a nice little dough develops, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the margarine in chunks and knead until it all comes together again. You may need to adjust the dough in the bowl a few times because it likes to slip around and avoid getting kneaded.
- When the margarine is almost incorporated, add in the currants and cherries. Keep kneading for a few more minutes until the dough is soft and well blended.
- Cover bowl with a towel and let dough rise in a warm spot for 2 hours.
- Gently deflate the dough, pinch off little balls of dough and shape into rolls. Mine were a little bigger than a golf ball, and weighed about 3 ounces each. I shape them by pulling the tops smooth and tight, pinching down on the bottom. To the best of your ability, try to keep too many currents from being exposed, either pick them off the tops or push them into the dough, or they’ll burn in the oven and become quite bitter.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet or greased Pyrex 9 x 13, just barely touching. Cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.
- Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until they are golden brown.
- While the rolls are still piping hot, brush with the warmed jam.
- Set the rolls, parchment and all, on rack to cool.
- While the rolls cool, make the icing. Whisk the powdered sugar, orange zest and orange juice together. Go easy on the juice, you want this to be pretty thick, because it melts on the warm buns. Put icing in a pastry bag, or a ziplock with the corner snipped off.
- When the rolls are pretty much cooled, pipe the crosses on the buns and enjoy!
See my post on dairy-free butter alternatives if you need sources.