Hot cross buns are a fun, simple, and light roll that are topped with a delicious glaze.
For the dough:
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon all spice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 - 3.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest, optional
For the crosses:
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup milk
For the glaze:
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- In microwave safe bowl (or a glass 2-cup measuring cup) add the milk and butter. Microwave until the milk is hot and the butter melts, about 1 minute. Let the mixture cool until it's between 100-110 degrees F. (If you don't let it cool and add the yeast while the mixture is still hot you can kill the yeast and it won't rise, don't add it too soon).
- Add the milk and butter mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Add sugar, instant yeast, egg, salt, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, vanilla, and 1 cup of flour to the bowl of the stand mix (you can also do this by hand) and stir until well combined. Stir this mixture for 1 minute.
- Add an additional cup of flour and the raisins. Knead the dough for 10 minutes with with dough hook attachment.
- Add additional flour as needed so that the dough is soft but not sticky to the touch and knead in the flour well. You may need up to an additional 1/2 cup depending on your flour.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and shape into a smooth ball. Coat the bottom of the bowl well with cooking spray.
- Place the dough ball back into the bowl. Then flip the dough upside down so that the now oily bottom is on the top. Cover the bowl well with plastic wrap or a beeswax wrap and let the dough rest for an hour.
- Once the dough has risen, prepare a 9x13 inch baking dish by greasing it well.
- Remove the dough from the bowl. Cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and place them evenly in the prepared pan.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a beeswax wrap and let it rise an additional hour to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until about doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- When the hour rise time is almost up, add the flour and water to a small bowl and use a fork to combine well. Place the flour mixture in a plastic baggie.
- When the rolls are done rising, remove the plastic. Snip a 1/4 inch from the corner of the plastic baggie that has the flour mixture in it. Use the plastic baggie to pipe a cross on the top of each roll.
- Place the rolls in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls are cooked through.
- While the rolls are baking mix together the apricot jam and the powdered sugar well.
- When the rolls are done cooking, remove from the oven brush with the apricot mixture while they are still hot.
- Serve hot or warm.
- These rolls are flexible! You can add the orange zest or not. You can sub other chopped fruit (such as chopped apricots or currents) for the raisins. You can adjust the spices to your liking.
- If you don't like raisins feel free to sub them out for chocolate chips!
- If you don't have apricot preserves or jam you can use peach. If you don't have either you can mix 1/4 cup powdered sugar with 2-3 tablespoons milk to make a thin glaze for the tops.
- Sometimes I skip the apricot glaze and I make a little bit of icing instead. I let the rolls cool a bit and then I pipe icing over the crosses. We really like them with icing on top. You can use my cinnamon roll icing, just mix it up a little thick (don't add too much milk).
- My kids LOVE these with chocolate chips instead of raisins and icing instead of the glaze. They're amazing!
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 25 min
- Category: breakfast
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 Bun
- Calories: 229
- Sugar: 16.3g
- Sodium: 117.1mg
- Fat: 4.8g
- Carbohydrates: 46.5g
- Protein: 5.6g
- Cholesterol: 26.1mg
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