It is Easter season and Martha made Hot Cross Buns on her show (also in April Martha Stewart Living), so I decided to get in the spirit and make some. I have never had hot cross buns (I know, hard to believe) and I have to say they never really appealed to me, but I was game to give it a try.
The recipe starts with heated milk and yeast, sugar, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon and eggs getting mixed with a dough hook. I have several important things to tell you. First of all, I dusted off the KitchenAid mixer (and I do mean dusted off) and used the dough hook, which I think I may never have used (it worked quite well). Secondly, I kind of goofed. In the instructions it says to use 1 cup of milk, but up in the ingredient list, it says 1 cup plus 2 tbsp and 2 tsp of milk. The additional milk is supposed to be for the icing. I just was reading along through the ingredients and so dumped in all the milk. I have to say it really annoyed me that this recipe listed it this way! If you are making two separate things, I think the ingredient list should be broken down into two sections so you don’t make a mistake like this!
I got that mixed and then added the flour. The dough was a little goopier looking than it should have been (because of the extra milk), but I just went with it. I mixed in the fruit and let it rise for an hour. It rose nicely. I made it into individual buns and let it rise again.
I was sure it was going to be a total disaster because of the additional milk, but it was perfectly fine! I brushed them with the egg wash and baked them and they turned out nice and brown.
Once they were cool, I mixed up the icing. Here’s where things got a little hairy. The recipe calls for 2 cups of powdered sugar. My icing was like liquid – there was no way it was going to stay in place on the buns. I ended up adding one and a half cups more powdered sugar to get it to the right consistency (and as you can see below, it was still pretty runny).
I piped it on the buns (I cheated and cut the corner off a ziploc instead of fighting with a pastry bag). I think they came out quite nicely.
As for taste? I wasn’t all that impressed, but Mr. MarthaAndMe, who has a long, checkered past full of hot cross buns, told me you need to split them open and butter them. I did that and then I thought they were better.
This was a fun thing to try and it was actually pretty easy to make as long as you have the time for the two risings.
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