Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Modified Hot Cross Buns

This Easter we are going to try these.... thought I would post the recipe in case you wanted to too.  This recipe was in the April 2012 Cooking Light magazine.  It modified the classic Hot Cross Buns to make it healthier.  (Calories-Classic 268, Makeover 179; Saturated fat- classic 4.8 grams, makeover 1.4 grams; sodium- classic 227 milligrams, makeover 111 milligrams.)

Hot Cross Buns have long been a Good Friday and Easter tradition. The icing on the buns is in a cross to symbolize the crucifixion.  It was even turned into a nursery rhyme..

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!
If ye have no daughters,
Give them to your sons.
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns

While many people associate these with Christianity... they actually have pagan origins, with the cross representing the four phases of the moon.  They were adopted by the Christian missionaries and in the 1300s a monk passed them out to his church on Good Friday.  And a tradition was born....

Now you can make them your own tradition...

Hot Cross Buns
Hands on time: 40 mins
Total time: 3hr and 15 mins.

  • Rolls:
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 cup warm orange juice (120° to 130°) $
  • 19 ounces all-purpose flour (about 4 1/4 cups), divided $
  • 4 1/2 ounces whole-grain pastry flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind $
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
  • 1 package quick-rise yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup warm fat-free milk (120° to 130°)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted $
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten $
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 large egg white $ 
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  1. To prepare rolls, combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Drain fruit in a colander over a bowl, reserving fruit and juice.
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon 18.5 ounces (about 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour and pastry flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, salt, and next 5 ingredients (through yeast) in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached; mix until combined. Combine reserved orange juice, fat-free milk, honey, butter, and 2 eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. With mixer on, slowly add milk mixture to flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed 7 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Add reserved fruit. Knead 2 minutes or until smooth and elastic; add enough of remaining 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm, dry place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide into 24 equal portions; roll each portion into a ball. Place rolls in muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Combine 1 tablespoon water and egg white; stir with a whisk. Gently brush rolls with egg white mixture. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden, rotating pans once during baking. Remove from pans; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  5. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Microwave at HIGH 20 seconds or until warm. Spoon glaze into a zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag; snip a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag. Pipe a cross on top of each warm roll.
 Chad and I will be modifying this recipe a bit more.  I am allergic to orange juice, so we are going to try substituting limeade.  Also I couldn't find currants anywhere.  Search 5 places.  So we will be using dried cranberries... I will let you know how they turn out.

If you make these, let me know what you thought! 

Update: I think I cooked them too long, they got hard, but had good taste to them. 

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