Howdy, friends! Hopefully you are a big fan of the concept “better late than never”… because this post was meant to go out last Friday… Good Friday… the day you’re actually supposed to make Hot Cross Buns.
But stuff happens. Like you take your daughters out for a day of girlie shopping and giggling… or you do a random pull-up contest with your son (ok, maybe this is not so common, but it happened at my house)… you hang out and swim and watch Lord of the Rings and eat the said hot cross buns and never actually sign onto your computer the whole holiday weekend.
Sound familiar? If it does, then we’re in good company. I used to push myself and push myself to hit ALL. MY. DEADLINES. If a task was written on my calendar, I would DO IT, no matter how much stress it caused me, how much sleep I lost, or how much it compromised my time with my family. But the older I get, the more I recognise that certain things are not so important, like arbitrary deadlines written on calendars. And certain things are, like spending time with my kiddos, who frequently remind me, “Mama, do you realise that Theda only has 3 more years at home before she goes to college?!” I think it amuses them to see the look that crosses my face… but one day they’ll be parents too, and then they’ll understand.
But I still want you to have this recipe, even if it’s too late for this year’s Easter celebration. This bread would be delicious anytime of year. Milk bread is very forgiving…and you can make it as rich or as lean as you like. I used a combo of soy and almond milk (but feel free to use regular milk if you’re not lactose intolerant), one egg, and the lower amount of sugar and butter called for in the recipe. This still turned out a very tender and plenty sweet sheet of buns. I didn’t add the usual raisins or currants, out of deference to my children’s preferences. They were appropriately grateful!
These buns are simple to make: just mix up the dough, knead it, and let it rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Then punch it down and make it out into little rolls. Place them barely touching on a greased cookie sheet.
Then cover with oiled plastic wrap and let them rise again, this time about an hour to an hour & a half.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes in a hot oven… your kitchen will smell amazing! Meanwhile, whisk up a simple glaze of powdered sugar and milk. While the buns are still warm, make a cross in the centre of each with the glaze. Yum. They’re best while warm, but still very good the next day.
So I’ll make a confession… I put off going to the gym to do my super-tough leg day workout by writing this post. So I’ll go now. Better late than never, right??