Jo’s Hot Cross Buns II
Source of Recipe
My MIL, Jo
These are a wonderful tradition in Mike's family. Jo says that these were..."adapted and modified over the past 50 years by me from 'Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book' I received as a wedding gift in 1958." Close friends and family welcome these just before Easter every year. These freeze very, very well.
List of Ingredients
1/4 cup scalded milk
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 pkgs. rapid rise yeast
1/2 c. warm water
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 to 1 1/2 cup dried currants (not raisins)
1 c. 10X sugar
Combine scalded milk, sugar, oil, and salt and stir. Set aside to cool, then add to a stand mixer.
Sift together 1 cup of flour with the cinnamon. Add this to the milk mixture and beat until smooth, scraping down as needed.
Run hot water over a small bowl to warm it. Set it on a towel if you have granite (to prevent it from cooling). Add a teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 cup of warm (110F) water to the bowl. Gently stir in the 2 packets of yeast. Let sit about 5 minutes until you get frothy bubbles.
To the ingredients in the mixer bowl, add the beaten eggs until incorporated. Beat in the frothy yeast mixture and the second cup of flour. Let the mixer run while you grease the bowl for rising. Place the empty bowl in a warm oven with the heat off and oven temped to not over 100F or use the proof setting, if you have that (you can also just turn the oven light on).
Add the currants to the mixer bowl and mix to incorporate. Add the third cup of flour. Now is probably the time to switch to the dough hook. Mix thoroughly. Add most of the fourth cup of flour and mix well. Form the dough into a ball in your hands. Knead, adding flour as necessary until you can handle it. It will still be a little sticky but the flour will make the surface fairly dry. You don’t want a firm dough or the rolls won’t be soft; you want it soft, but able to hold its shape. Place in the greased bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a cloth and put it in the oven until it doubles in size (about 2 hours).
Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or grease them. Take the dough out of the bowl and punch down. Divide in half. Flatten each half to a rectangle about an inch or slightly less. Using a biscuit cutter, cut 12 pieces out of each half (24 total). Roll them in your hand (form “the cage”) and tucking the ends under. Pinch together on the bottom to form a ball. Place 12 balls on each of the baking sheets, about 1 1/2 to 2-inches apart. Put the baking sheets back into the oven until they are doubled in size (2 hours or less).
Remove from the oven (don’t set them on anything cold – like granite) and heat the oven to 350F. When heated bake for about 12 minutes until golden. Watch them carefully as they brown fast.
Remove from oven and butter the tops and sides of each bun with cold butter. Remove buns from the baking sheet with a spatula and let cool on a rack.
Add 10X to a bowl. Add about a tablespoon of hot water to the sugar and stir until smooth. Add additional hot water, about a teaspoonful at a time, until it is the consistency of glue. It will form a thick, but steady stream off your spoon. While the buns are still a bit warm, dribble the icing in two lines to form a cross across the tops of the buns. Let set until dry. Store airtight.
Makes 2 dozen buns.