Growing up in Ireland, Good Friday was the traditional time of year when we ate Hot Cross Buns and I am keeping the tradition alive by sharing it with my family in Atlanta -as I always do, however, this year, I asked my friend, and bread baking expert & entrepreneur Sue Becker to my home to teach me just some of her amazing yeast bread making skills. We ground our own wheat with the Wonder Mill (click this link to find out more) and kneaded the dough in the amazing Ankarsrum mixer (click on this link to find out more) in what it seemed like no time at all…and yes, you MUST check this stuff out. Bread making has never been so easy, so tasty or so good for you…
The dough is made the night before and slowly rises in the refrigerator overnight so that the buns can be baked up fresh on Good Friday morning. This way, your family rise to the smells and Easter memories of wonderful baking bread – what could be better!
My boys are not big fans of the traditional currants and mixed peel so I added fresh apple and drizzled them with a Sea Salt Caramel icing, super yum. My hope is to create new memories by holding on to old traditions with a whole new generation – as some things should never die.
Hot Cross Buns with Apple and Sea Salt Caramel
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup water
- 1/3 cup unsalted Kerrygold butter (plus 2 Tbsp for greasing)
- ½ cup of sugar (or honey granules)
- 4 ½ tsp dry active yeast
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-3 ¼ cups of freshly milled hard white wheat flour
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 granny smith apple (peeled and chopped)
(Sea Salt Caramel icing)
- ¼ cup salted Kerrygold butter
- ½ cup brown sugar (or evaporated can juice)
- 1/8 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (or honey granules)
- ¼ tsp light flaky sea salt
How to make them
- Combine the water, milk and butter in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat until warm and butter is melted. Remove from heat and pour in to a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar or honey granules, 1 large egg yolk and vanilla and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in half the flour mixture, and then sprinkle the yeast in while continuing to mix. Mix in the rest of the flour to form slightly sticky dough. Stir n the lemon zest and chopped apple. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape in to a ball.
- Brush the inside of a large bowl with 1 Tbsp butter. Put dough in to bowl, burning to coat lightly with butter. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Dough can be made the night before and allowed to rise in the refrigerator overnight.
- To form the rolls butter a 9×14 inch baking pan. Turn the dough out of the bowl and using a bench scrapper divide in to 12 equal portions, about 2 ounces each.
- Tuck the edges of the dough under to make round rolls and place them seam-side down in the prepared pan, leaving a little space in between each roll. With a sharp knife cut a cross in the top of each roll. Set aside in a warm place until the rolls rise doubled in size, about 25-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 387 degrees F.
- Once rise, brush the tops of the buns with beaten egg white. Bake rolls until golden, brown and fluffy, and an instant read thermometer inserted in to the center of the rolls registers 190 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.
- To make the caramel icing melt the butter and brown sugar/evaporated cane juice and milk and cook for 2 minutes. Beat in the powdered sugar/honey granules.
- Drizzle the icing over buns to emphasize the cross shape.
Enjoy, happy baking and happy Easter to you and yours!
Judie the Irish Foodie