Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served in many countries on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and often even on Easter morning. They are a must-have tradition in our home each Easter weekend. They are delicious and a great reminder of the real meaning of Easter.
1 c. scalded milk
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 pkg. dry yeast
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/2 c. raisins
1 egg, well beaten (this is to glaze the tops of the buns)
Instructions: Stir together the milk sugar, egg, lemon juice, and butter until well blended. Stir in the yeast. Add 2 1/2 c. of the flour, the salt, and lemon rind and beat together well.
Cover the bowl, place in a warm spot, and leave to rise for an hour. Add the raisins and knead into the bread. As you knead, add as much of the remaining flour as needed to make a smooth elastic dough. Form into a ball and place in a covered buttered bowl in a warm place to rise until it doubles in size. Punch the dough down and form into buns.
Place the buns in a greased pan with at least an inch in between each one. Cut a cross in the top of each bun and brush with the beaten egg. Let rise again until double in size.
Bake in a 375 degree F oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
I prefer to eat hot cross buns just as is but some people like to frost them with icing. If desired, here is an icing recipe you can use: Beat 3 egg whites with 1 T. lemon juice. Gradually mix in 1 1/2 c. icing sugar until a stiff icing is formed.