Traditionally, hot cross buns are eaten on Good Friday - the last of an indulgent treat before Lenten fasting. Now, many people serve them as an Easter treat. They're so good, I'm not sure why we don't make them all year long! The cross, whether slashed with a sharp knife into the risen dough before baking, or piped afterwards with a thick powdered sugar glaze, symbolizes the crucifixion of Christ. You'll notice that the glaze on these buns may or may not resemble 'crosses', but they are just the way we like them ;)
This recipe, from Taste of Home, has the delightful hint of orange by using orange juice and orange zest. If you'd like something a little different this year for your Easter treat, give these a try - I think you'll like them!
Orange Hot Cross Buns
2 packages quick-rise yeast
1-1/4 cups orange juice (110-115 degrees), divided use
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
3 tsp grated orange peel
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
6 cups flour
Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 2-3 tsp orange juice
Dissolve yeast in 3/4 cups orange juice. Add butter, sugar, eggs, peel, salt, cinnamon, raisins, rest of orange juice and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes. Put into a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Punch down and divide into 22 pieces. Shape into balls and place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Let rise for 30 minutes then bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. When completely cool, pipe a cross over each bun with the glaze.