Although enjoyed today, hot cross buns emerge from a long tradition of baking sweetened bread to honor ancient deities. As cultures and religions evolved, Christians introduced hot cross buns to celebrations and meals on Good Friday, with the cross interpreted as a symbol of the crucifixion.
This simple recipe makes a sweet dough that can be divided into 9 large rolls or 12 smaller rolls.
12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tbsp. yeast
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
5 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. melted butter
1/3 tsp. almond extract
- In large mixing bowl, stir together milk and butter. Then add sugar, salt, and yeast. Stir until sugar dissolves. Then mix in egg, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Mix in flour slowly, half a cup at a time until a soft dough forms.
- Knead dough for about 5 minutes.
- Place the ball in a well-greased bowl. Cover with a cloth and let rise for about an hour.
- Knead dough making sure to get out air bubbles.
- Divide dough and shape into 9 balls for large rolls, or 12 for smaller rolls.
- Place them on greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and slash a cross on top of each bun.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before icing.
- Ice buns as desired.