“One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross buns!” is the rhyme that was sung on Good Friday in England where these buns were sold, which are thought to date back to the 12th century. I remember singing this nursery rhyme as a child and having no idea what the rhyme was talking about. Now that I’ve made and enjoyed some delicious buns, I’ve enjoyed sharing them with family and friends. I love the symbolism behind these Easter buns and the flavor.
For those unfamiliar with this delicious Easter bun, it is a yeasted sweet bun studded with currants and iced with a cross that is piped across the top. When I first made Hot Cross buns, I was hesitant about using currants in the recipe. I’m not a huge fan of raisins in baked goods and I was afraid it would “ruin” the bun. But I decided to stay true to the recipe and used currants which are much smaller than a raisin. They were absolutely delicious. If you are able to buy currants, definitely include them in this recipe. It has become my new go-to dried fruit to put in baked goods because of the smaller size and flavor. If you have never tried them before, pick up some currants from your local grocery store and give them a try.
These buns make a wonderful Easter gift or are perfect to eat on Easter morning or anytime on Easter weekend. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. “Get them while they’re hot. Eat them by the ton. One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross buns!”
Yield: 12 buns
Time: 15 minute mix, 2 hours rise, 15 minute bake
- 1 cup warm whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
- ¼ cup melted butter, cooled
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup currants (or raisins)
- 1 egg for egg wash (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons cream or milk (more or less for consistency)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Warm the milk in the microwave. Stir the milk so the heat disperses. The milk should be warm to the touch (like baby’s bathwater). Add the milk to a stand mixer and add the yeast, cooled melted butter, egg, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
- Begin adding flour a cup at a time until a dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides. Continue adding flour little by little until the dough is just a tiny bit sticky. Add the currants and continue kneading (for a total of about 5 minutes).
- Oil a bowl and put the dough mixture into the oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for an hour in a warm place.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Once the dough has risen, turn out on your counter and cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each ball of dough into a bun shape and place on the baking sheet, four rows of three.
- Cover and let rise again in a warm place about 45 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. If you are using an egg wash, mix a lightly beaten egg with a teaspoon of water. Lightly brush the egg wash over the rolls. This will give the buns a shiny appearance.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes until rolls are baked through and golden on top.
- While the rolls are baking, mix together the icing and prepare a piping bag (or ziplock bag works well too). I like to put my bag into a cup with the edges of the bag hanging over the cup so it’s easier to scoop my icing into the bag. Scoop the icing into the corner of the bag and snip off a small corner of the bag where the icing is located.
- Once your rolls have baked, let them cool about 10 minutes before topping with the icing. Make a cross on the top of each bun. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂