Guys, the in-laws are gone, we are back to our routine, and I finally had 2 nights of very much needed good sleep! I have had this post sitting in my drafts for a couple of weeks and I can finally find the mental energy to publish this post.
I must admit that the last couple of months have been long and somewhat tiring and simply didn’t go at all like I planned or assumed that they would. I feel like things are slowly getting back to ‘normal’, and that means I can back to more posting and overall business as usual. So, because I love you guys and want to thank you for being so patient with me and such lovely loyal readers, I’m giving away a $50 amazon.com gift card for you to buy whatever you like! Please know I truly appreciate each and every one of you, and this is just a very (small) way I can say THANK YOU! Simply enter in the box below- good luck!
So in my usual late for everything style, I’m sharing a very last minute recipe with you. This hot cross bun loaf is a nice little spin on the usual hot cross buns which many people partake in at Easter. Growing up, I remember my Grandpa always making them in his bakery along with the Portuguese Easter bread, but I must admit that I don’t ever recall eating one! Pretty much anything with dehydrated fruit is out for me, especially raisins so it’s not something I tended to gravitate towards! This bread changed that for me! Traditionally hot cross buns are made with currants, but I couldn’t find any nearby so I substituted sultanas and I have to admit I loved this bread, raisins and all! It was a breakthrough!
The thing I love about this bread is that it has a cinnamon-sugar swirl similar to a cinnamon bun which basically makes it irresistible! Two loaves pretty much disappeared instantly! It was great eaten warm, toasted with a little butter, but insanely delicious as french toast. I made this recipe a couple of times because when I made it the first time the filling came out a bit into the bottom of the pan, and the second time I rolled the dough thinner and longer but that resulted in the bread having a bit of open space at the top (like above). I have written the recipe to reflect the way I did it the first time but in such a way that the filling will stay inside and therefore look prettier than what you see in these photos.
A beautiful hot cross bun loaf studded with raisins and swirl with cinnamon sugar!
- 4 tablespoons (2oz) unsalted butter
- 1 cup milk, preferably whole
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups dried currants, or raisins, or sultans
- 1 heaping tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 whole egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon milk
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add in the milk and sugar and continue to warm until the mixture reaches 110F (43C), about 3 minutes. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Add it to the bowl with the yeast, and add the eggs, currants, and orange zest. Attach the dough hook, and knead on low speed for about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
- While the dough is rising make the filling.
- In a small bowl, stir together the softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- Butter two 9x5-inch loaf pans. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide the dough in half. Roll each half into an 8 1/2-inch square. Spread half of the filling onto the dough leaving a 1 1/2 inch border on one end of the dough (which will seal the log). Tightly roll up the dough, pinch the seam to seal, and place the the dough seam side down into the prepared pan. Repeat with other square. Let rise until puffy, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Position the rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the loaves with the egg wash. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away frown the sides of the pan, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar vanilla, and milk. Drizzle over the cooled bread.
This dough can also be made into classic hot cross buns. Omit the filling and roll the dough into about 12 equal pieces and roll into a ball. Space the rolls about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let rise until doubled and brush with egg wash. Bake about 18 minutes until golden brown.
Adapted from Home Baked Comfort (Williams-Sonoma).