Easter is literally just around the corner but I wanted to share this tasty bun recipe just in case you wanted to add a last-minute treat to your weekend.
This does take a few hours to complete due to the rising steps, but I find that the actual work to make these is really not very long. If you’re like me, you can either read a book in between rising steps, or maybe get some other housework done while you wait.
The first time I made these this year, I cut the crosses about ¼ inch deep. I think that is maybe a bit much, as you can see by the photo, it looses its shape a bit, although you can re-define it by adding the icing later. On my second batch, I made very shallow ⅛ inch cuts. These looked much better (see the top photo). It seems that ⅛ inch is the way to go as the second group worked out perfectly.
Another mistake I made was to add the water to the milk and butter before adding the yeast. I wasn’t really paying attention to the instructions and messed up. Sprinkling yeast on top of the milk/butter mixture was pointless as the yeast didn’t start to grow. To save the batch, I made another bit of warm water, added half the yeast to it and (after it started its reaction), added it to the recipe like it was supposed to be done in the first place. Thankfully they still rose but I had to add a bit of extra flour to keep the dough the right consistency.
In this recipe there is only ½ cup of raisins. I personally love raisins and would probably double that if I was the only one eating the buns, but certain members of the family don’t really like raisins, so I need to keep them conservative in number. If you love raisins, by all means, double the amount. And remember to plump them up by soaking them in boiling water for at least 5 minutes.
The icing is pretty basic. Some people might prefer the buns without icing. Either way, it is tasty! The best part about the icing is that it is only two ingredients so if you don’t like how thick or how thin it is, just adjust one of the ingredients until it is just what you want. Piping them using a ziplock bag is the easiest, but don’t cut too much off of the corner. My first cut is usually too big, so the hole lets a lot of icing out. (Good thing there are two corners 😉 .)
- 1 TBSP dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup butter
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 egg (room temperature)
- ½ cup raisins
- ¾ cup icing sugar
- 1 TBSP milk
- Sprinkle yeast on warm water in small bowl. Set aside
- Heat milk on stove until it bubbles on the sides of the pan. Add butter, sugar & salt. Cool to lukewarm.
- Sift flour and spices together. Set aside.
- Add yeast to lukewarm milk and add half of flour mixture to liquids. Beat well.
- Add egg and raisins and stir.
- Add remaining flour and knead until all flour is combined and dough is elastic-like. (Add more flour if necessary to make dough less sticky.)
- Cover with a greased plastic sheet and allow to rise in a warm area until double in bulk (about 1½ hours).
- Punch dough down, cover and allow to rise again for ½ hour.
- Using a sharp knife, cut bun-sized portions and form into flattened balls.
- Place on greased cookie sheet. Cut crosses on top of buns only ⅛" deep.
- Cover and allow to rise until double in size (about 1 hour).
- Bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire rack before icing.
- Combine icing sugar and milk until smooth and creamy.
- Use a piping bag or ziplock bag with a small corner cut out to pipe crosses on the buns after they are cooled.
- These are best served warm, so you can microwave them just before serving.
- They freeze well if you aren't going to eat them all on the first day.