Lovely, and not too sweet buns, are perfect to make ahead of time (dough) and bake on Easter morning.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- zest of one orange (wash the orange well)
- 1 cup raisins, currants and/or golden raisins (any combination)
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (warmed)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup melted butter
For the crosses (you may omit if you only want to ice crosses after cooling)
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 7 tablespoons warm water
For the glaze
- 2 tablespoon melted apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon hot water
For the icing (you may omit if using flour cross, or use both)
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice (from that orange you zested!)
- In a stand mixer, combine the flours, yeast, cinnamon, salt, sugar, and zest in the mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook. Combine the buttermilk, egg and melted butter in a large measuring cup (warmed in microwave for about 20 seconds, to get the chill off) and mix into the dry ingredients to form a sticky dough.
- Add the dried fruit, and knead on low speed until silky and smooth. (You can do this by hand, but it will be sticky to handle.) Knead for about 6 minutes. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
- Gently deflate the risen dough and divide into 9 equal pieces. Shape into balls and dust with flour. Place in a 9″ x 9″ baking pan, cover with plastic wrap or towel, and let rise for another 30 minutes until again, doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. To make the crosses, whisk together the flour and water until smooth, then transfer to a plastic bag and snip off the end to make a fine hole. Pipe a cross on top of each one, then and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the apricot jam with the water in a pan or in microwave, so it is brushable. Brush mixture over the buns right from the oven. Serve warm, cold, or toasted. Try a little butter too, yum.
For the icing (optional)
- Wait to ice the buns until they have cooled a bit. Combine confectioners sugar and orange juice. Add more liquid if needed to make a mixture that holds its shape. Again, add to a piping bag or sandwich bag and pipe a cross across the baked cross.
The zest of any citrus fruit is a powerhouse of flavor, much more than the juice itself.
- Zest the fruit at room temp, if you don’t get it out of the fridge in time, place it in the microwave for about 15 seconds, to yield more juice.
- To get even more juice, roll the fruit on the counter back and forth a few time under your palm, that get’s it started.
- Be sure to not zest into the bitter white pith.
- Zest before you juice!
Keywords: hot cross buns, whole grain hot cross buns, easy hot cross buns, easter brunch buns