Hot Cross Buns
- 1 cup milk at room temperature 72-75°F
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour*
- 1 teaspoon cardamom, optional
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 2 tablespoons orange zest (no white bitter pith)
- 3 tablespoons instant yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft
- 1 box (15 oz) raisins or dried currants at room temperature
- 1 cup Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour milk followed by eggs, vanilla, sugar, agave nectar, and salt. Place flour, spices, and orange zest on top.
- Combine yeast with lukewarm water and add paste to bowl.
- Using a dough hook, mix until dough is elastic and smooth, about 5-7 minutes on medium speed.
- Gradually add pieces of butter to dough allowing it to be fully incorporated before adding next amount.
- Add raisins and mix until just combined. Cover bowl with plastic food wrap and set in a warm place (top of refrigerator or in oven which was turned on for a few minutes) and allow dough to rise until doubled in volume, about 60-80 minutes.
- Remove dough from bowl, this will make dough collapse which is normal and required. Cut dough into 24 equal pieces and shape round. Place in a buttered pan about 1-inch apart.
- Brush with beaten egg and cover with plastic food wrap. Return to a warm place and allow to rise for about 30-45 minutes or until buns have gained about 60% in volume. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350°F.
- Remove plastic and brush rolls very gently to avoid deflating them. Place in oven and bake until light golden for about 18-20 minutes.
- Allow to cool on pan.
- Whisk together orange juice and powdered sugar and using a spoon drizzle a cross on the surface of buns.
Imperial Sugar Insight
Yeast only works in a warm environment. Make sure that the milk, eggs and butter are all at room temperature or slightly higher. The kitchen should not be cold.