Remember learning how to play “Hot Cross Buns” on your recorder? (Apologies for the fact that the tune will likely be stuck in your head for awhile.) Well, these traditional Easter-season rolls prove almost as elementary, thanks to a store-bought yeast-dough mix, which drastically cuts down on prep time. Traditionally served on Good Friday, these sweet rolls, studded with raisins or currants, are now marked with an “X” in white icing or even chocolate, though in the pastry’s early days in England and across the globe, bakers simply depressed the dough to make the signature mark. Try the tradition on for size—any time of year—with this easy recipe.
3½ cups yeasted Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix (from 1 16-oz. pkg.)
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup hot water (120°F to 130°F)
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 cup powdered sugar
1½ tablespoon whole milk
Sat fat 1.5g
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir together the roll mix, raisins, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and yeast (included with the mix) in a large bowl. Add the butter, lightly beaten egg, and hot water and stir until a soft dough forms.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes, sprinkling additional flour over the dough as needed. Cover the dough with a bowl and let rest, 5 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and shape each into a 2-inch ball. Place the balls in a single layer in a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (80°F to 85°F) until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Uncover and brush with the beaten egg white.
Bake until the buns are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, 16 to 18 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Spoon into a plastic freezer bag. Snip one corner to make a hole about ¼ inch in diameter. Pipe an X onto each bun. Serve warm.
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