Hot Cross Buns

  Hot Cross Buns were an Easter staple in our household when I was growing up, but they weren’t baked by DotMom. She wasn’t much of a yeast bread baker.

The buns were usually the work of longtime family friend, the late Trudy Wee. For those who are not familiar with Hot Cross Buns, they are a yeast bread, flavored with spices and containing raisins or currants and marked with a frosting cross on top. Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten at Easter.

Here is Trudy’s recipe for this Eastertime treat. Look for a simpler version — more my speed, like my mom — tomorrow.

Hot Cross Buns

Soften 1 package dry yeast in 2 tablespoons warm water.

Combine 1 cup scalded milk, ¼ cup sugar, 1½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1 cup currants. Cool to lukewarm. Add yeast mixture and 2 well-beaten eggs. Add 2 cups sifted flour and mix. Add ½ cup melted butter (Trudy used part lard to make a lighter dough). Beat well. Gradually add another 2 cups flour. Mix, but do not knead.

Place dough in a greased bowl; grease top of dough, cover and put in cool place until firm enough to handle, about 1 hour.

Roll out dough and cut with a biscuit cutter into 18 to 24 buns. Shape into neat buns, place on greased cookie sheets and let rise until double.

Bake at 400 degrees about 12 minutes, watching closely. Make a frosting from butter, milk or cream and powdered sugar. Use a pastry bag to decorate the tops of buns with frosting crosses.

Note: Trudy usually doubled the recipe, but didn’t double the amount of salt; 2 teaspoons salt is adequate for the doubled recipe.