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Hot Cross Buns

  • Yield: 12 rolls


  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm milk (100? to 110?F on an instant-read thermometer)
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, for greasing a large mixing bowl
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup confectionersí sugar


  • Stir the yeast and granulated sugar into the warm milk. Allow the mixture to stand 10 minutes until it becomes foamy.
  • Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and orange zest in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low to combine.
  • Pour the milk and yeast mixture into the flour mixture and beat on low to combine.
  • With the mixer running, carefully add 2 of the eggs, one at a time, mixing just until the yolks disappear, keeping your fingers away from the rotating paddle.
  • Add the softened butter and the raisins and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes.
  • Grease a large mixing bowl with the oil. Place the dough in the lightly greased bowl and turn the dough once to coat it with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean, damp kitchen towel and set in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 11/2 hours.
  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 400?F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • When the dough has risen, punch it down once with your fist and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form each piece into a round ball.
  • Evenly space each dough ball on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Whisk together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon of the milk in a small mixing bowl. Using a pastry brush, paint the top of each roll with the egg mixture, reserving the remaining eggwash. Place a clean, damp kitchen towel or lightly greased piece of plastic wrap over the tops of the rolls. Set in a warm place to rise, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the kitchen towel and brush the tops of the rolls again with the reserved eggwash.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use a spatula to remove the rolls from the baking sheet and place them on a wire rack to cool.
  • In a clean small mixing bowl, combine the confectionersí sugar and remaining tablespoon of milk, mixing well. Pour the sugar glaze into a squeeze bottle with a small tip or into a plastic bag with a small hole cut in one of the corners.
  • When the rolls have cooled completely, pipe the sugar glaze over the top of each roll in the shape of a cross.