Hot cross buns are a traditional addition to spring celebrations in Europe and North America. It saddens me to say that they have been available in some stores here since January. I think it takes away the specialness of foods when seasonal items are available all year round. But that is just me.
Whether the cross on top represents the resurrection of Christ or celebrates the turning of the wheel, the warming spices inside the buns are where the “hot” comes from.
Although hot cross buns are usually made or purchased as a yeast product, it is also possible to bring all the flavours together in something that will be ready to serve in just over half an hour. Think of it as a kissing cousin to Spotted Dog. So if there isn’t enough time in the day, give this quick bread option a try.
You will need:
One recipe of 50/50 soda bread
NOTE: Subbing out the whole wheat for all purpose flour is possible if you are looking for a lighter finished product.
1 cup currants
1/2 cup orange peel
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar (icing)
Gather all your ingredients while paying attention to your heart. Do you feel open or blocked? Stop and take a few deep breaths if there is a tightness in your chest. Close your eyes a moment and let the nigglies go. Release any remaining bits by washing your hands and letting the drips carry off the last of what is keeping you from the present moment. Hold the knowledge that work, any work you do for another with intention, is love in action. Begin.
Place orange peel and currants into a blender and blend just until the mixture begins to come together. Add the ground fruit into the flour mixture, breaking up any large pieces. Add the cinnamon to the dry mixture and then continue by adding the liquid.
When the dough has almost come together, turn the mixture out onto a floured surface, finish incorporating the last of the flour and divide in half. Pat into a circle about 1 inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter cut out and transfer the buns to a floured cookie sheet.
Once cool enough, pipe a cross of sugar glaze on top.
These buns had a sprinkling of flour on top that you might prefer to not have. The contrast between the baked hot cross buns and the white glaze will stand out more without the flour.
Simply ensure that all the flour is worked into the dough before cutting the circles and keep them face up when transferring to the baking sheet.
A milk or egg wash is another option for upping the contrast as well.
To make a pinwheel loaf with filling:
Put a few currants and raisins aside to garnish the top of the loaf. Place orange peel and currants into a blender and blend just until the mixture begins to come together.
When the dough has almost mixed, turn the mixture out onto a floured surface, finish incorporating the last of the flour and cut into two equal amounts. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cover the dough with half the ground fruit and then roll the dough into a log, starting from a short end.
Transfer to a floured cookie sheet with the edge at the bottom and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degree F. Once cool, drizzle with icing and top with the last of the fruit. Cut in slices and serve with a little butter fresh, toast once the bread becomes a little drier or let the loaf dry out even more and use slices for Eggy Bready (French Toast) on Easter Sunday.
Stir until well mixed and smooth.
Transfer the glaze to a reuseable piping bag or a baggie as shown to the right.
Remove any extra air before sealing and then cut a small amount of the corner away, leaving a large enough hole to press the glaze through.
Garnish the hotcross buns with a cross and drizzle the length of the loaves at a 45 degree angle off center both left and right before topping with the dried fruit that was put aside.
Before Hot Cross buns became square they were round and left on front door steps as a gift for the season. Another option would be to invite the neighbours round for a tea and a nibble.
Hot Cross Quick Buns from My Kitchen Wand