The other day I went in the kitchen to begin baking a recipe from one of my baking books. My little sister said, “Sissy, what are you making?” I said, “Hot Cross Buns.” She replied, “What are Hot Cross Buns?” To avoid embarrassment I walked out of the room. You see, I didn’t really know what they were. I just liked the ingredients.

A lot of times I will make things I have never tried before and it makes it just that more exciting. I do bake at night so I can have the kitchen all to myself, although it doesn’t stop people from coming in the kitchen and saying “You’re putting the evil dress on again.” (Referring to my apron). “What are you making now?” or “Now tell me again does that have yeast in it?” (My grandmother’s way of saying we don’t want yeast infection going around the house). All in all I wouldn’t miss any of it for the world, it just wouldn’t be baking around my family if it wasn’t. It means they care.

Here’s my “a little bit better for you” take on the recipe I found. It is a sweet roll with that fluffiness that can only be from yeast.

Hot Cross Buns:

Ingredients: 2 packages active dry yeast, 2 cups warm milk, 1/3 cup butter softened, 2 eggs lightly beaten, 1/8 cup sugar, 1/8 cup Splenda, 1 and 1/2 tsp salt, 3 to 3 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 3 to 3 and 1/2 cups of all wheat flour, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup dried currants, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground allspice, 2 tbs water, and 1 egg yolk.

Ingredients for Icing: 1 and 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 to 2 tbs milk

1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Stir in the butter, eggs, sugars, and salt. Combine 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 1 and 1/2 cups all wheat flower with the raisins, currants, cinnamon, and allspice; add to yeast mixture and mix well. Stir in enough of the remaining flours to form a soft dough.

2. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

3. Punch dough down; shape into 1 and 1/2 to 2 in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross on top of each roll. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. beat water and egg yolk; brush over rolls.

4. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve piping consistency. Pipe over rolls.

The Author:

Rachael Rizzo has been acting since she was nine years old. She uses her experience to write about what the things she loves mean to her (mostly movies and baking). She is twenty-three years old and resides in beautiful Oregon.

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