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Apricot Raisin Hot Cross Buns

hot cross bun recipeToday is Good Friday. On Good Friday you are supposed to eat hot cross buns. Hot cross buns are supposed to signify the crucifixion of Jesus. Apparently, they have been a hot topic throughout history. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, they tried to ban these buns because they were too closely related to Catholicism during the Reformation. They were wildly popular in England during this time, so Queen Elizabeth I allowed them only to be made at Easter and Christmas. She knew not to take away her people’s baked goods; that does not make for a happy kingdom. Regardless of the controversy that surrounds these little Easter treats, they are still delicious and something that will now become part of my Easter tradition. This was my first try at making these buns. They are soft and tender, and filled with dried apricots and raisins. Served warm with some unsalted butter and they are pretty much amazing.

This recipe is not difficult, but there are a few steps and it takes a long time to make. Rising time, not working time. But that it why we make these Easter treats once a year right?

This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens April 2011. I love this magazine, you should subscribe.

hot cross bun recipe4 to 41/2 cups flour
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100 degrees)
1/8 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 stick butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sliced dried apricots
1/2 cup raisins
1 beaten egg whote
1 Tablespoon water
Dried apricots Sliced into thin strips for the tops of the buns

hot cross buns recipeSet aside 2 cups of the flour and set aside. Combine the yeast, warm water, and 1/8 teaspoon of sugar. Mix together and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter, and 1/3 cup sugar, and salt until warm. In the bowl of a stand mixer (I am sure that you can do this by hand as well, but we all know that I am lazy) mix the remaining flour, the yeast mixture, the milk mixture, and the eggs. Use the paddle attachment not the bread hook like I did.

hot cross buns recipeMix on medium to low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly. Then beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped apricots and raisins.

hot cross buns recipeAdd as much of the remaining flour as you can with a wooden spoon.

hot cross bun recipeTurn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. It takes about 3 to 5 minutes.

hot cross bun recipeShape the dough into a ball and put in a bowl coated with cooking spray.

hot cross bun recipeLet the dough rise and double in size. Mine took about 2 hours. When it is ready, punch it down and turn out onto a floured surface.

hot cross bun recipeCover with a towel and let sit for another 10 minutes.

hot cross bun recipeCut the dough into 20 portions. Roll them into balls. Place them on a parchment covered baking sheet. Cover and let rise again for another 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover, and make a crisscross on the top of each bun.

hot cross bun recipeWhisk together the egg white and water. Brush on the top of each bun. Add the strips of apricot in a cross shape and press into the top.

hot cross bun recipeBake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

hot cross bun recipeServe warm and with butter.

hot cross bun recipeYou can make these up to 3 days ahead of time stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Reheat as needed.

Print

Apricot Raisin Hot Cross Buns


Ingredients

  • 4 to 41/2 cups flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100 degrees)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sliced dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 beaten egg whote
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Dried apricots Sliced into thin strips for the tops of the buns

Instructions

  1. Set aside 2 cups of the flour and set aside. Combine the yeast, warm water, and 1/8 teaspoon of sugar. Mix together and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter, and 1/3 cup sugar, and salt until warm. In the bowl of a stand mixer (I am sure that you can do this by hand as well, but we all know that I am lazy) mix the remaining flour, the yeast mixture, the milk mixture, and the eggs. Use the paddle attachment not the bread hook like I did.
  2. Mix on medium to low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly. Then beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped apricots and raisins.
  3. Add as much of the remaining flour as you can with a wooden spoon.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. It takes about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball and put in a bowl coated with cooking spray.
  6. Let the dough rise and double in size. Mine took about 2 hours. When it is ready, punch it down and turn out onto a floured surface.
  7. Cover with a towel and let sit for another 10 minutes.
  8. Cut the dough into 20 portions. Roll them into balls. Place them on a parchment covered baking sheet. Cover and let rise again for another 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover, and make a crisscross on the top of each bun.
  9. Whisk together the egg white and water. Brush on the top of each bun. Add the strips of apricot in a cross shape and press into the top.
  10. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Serve warm and with butter.

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  1. Marie

    April 22nd, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Hot buns are confusing to me: I am used to fast for Good Friday. At least that’s what we do in France… Is it more a Protestant tradition?

  2. bakedbree

    April 24th, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Really? I think that it is a Catholic tradition. We do not fast on Good Friday, only an hour before Mass. At least that is what my parish does. I am not sure about everywhere else. I am a new Catholic though. I was just confirmed at Easter Vigil.

  3. Janet Bocciardi

    April 22nd, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I’ve been looking for a recipe to make hot crossed buns! I remember having them at my Grandmother’s and loving them. My hubby should like these too since he’s a raisin fanatic!

    Thanks!

  4. bakedbree

    April 24th, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I hope that you both like them Janet!

  5. emily @ the happy home

    April 22nd, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    having never been particularly religious, i’ve never had hot cross buns. always just reminds me of the first tune my sister and i learned to play on the trumpet and french horn. but these look quite warm and yummy— perfect for breakfast!

  6. bakedbree

    April 24th, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    You should try them, they are really delicious. I am more about the tradition than the religion. I love holiday traditions.

  7. Jon

    April 22nd, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Never tried these… look good though. I wasn’t even aware that they are related to the holiday. Lovely photography. I also shoot with a D700 but never seem to have such good natural light.

  8. bakedbree

    April 24th, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    thank you Jon! Find a spot in your house, it an open doorway works really well.

  9. Jay

    April 22nd, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    these were excellent. I made them in advance for Sunday morning at my parents’ house, but we couldn’t help ourselves and had to have a few tonight when they came fresh from the oven. The warm loving yeasty smell filled the house, and made all of our mouths water…even the 14 year old girl who doesn’t like ANYTHING….this one is certainly a keeper.

  10. bakedbree

    April 24th, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    I am so glad! I hope that is becomes a new Easter tradition.

  11. Monique @ Make Me Drool

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    These look delicious! Hot cross buns are one of my favorite Easter traditions. I wish I had find your recipe sooner, but then again you don’t need a holiday to make hot cross buns!

  12. bakedbree

    April 28th, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    These were really fun to make. And no, you do not need a holiday to make these!

  13. julia

    March 30th, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Perfect! Just what I was looking for! I’ll be making them for Easter, however!
    (By the way, Catholics DO fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday if they are over 18 and under 65…and in good health (i.e. not pregnant or breastfeeding). We also give up meat those days and Fridays.

  14. bakedbree

    March 31st, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    I am glad that you did.

  15. Mimi

    March 11th, 2017 at 8:32 am

    They’re so pretty!!!

  16. bakedbree

    April 1st, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Thank you! They taste great too.

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