These two old Easter recipes take a little extra effort but are well worth it. If Hot Cross Buns and Easter Crown Bread are not already part of your family traditions, you will want to add them this year.
|Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served on Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) and during the Lenten season, but they are good anytime. This recipe will make 2 1/2 dozen buns. This handmade version and the bread machine version are available in MasterCook format.
2 packages active dry yeast (1/4 ounce each)
1/2 cup warm water*
1 cup warm milk*
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 1/2 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried currents
1/2 cup raisins
2 Tablespoons water
1 egg yolk
1 cup confectioner's sugar
4 teaspoons milk or cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Have the water and milk at 110-115 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the warm milk, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Stir in the dried fruit and enough flour to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn over to grease the top. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Punch the dough down and shape into 30 balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes). Using a sharp knife, cut a cross (or X) on the top of each roll. Beat the water and egg yolk together and brush over rolls. (You will probably have more than you need, discard the unused egg glaze.) Bake at 375-degree F. for 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make icing by combining the last four ingredients. Stir until smooth, adjusting sugar and milk to make a mixture that flows easily.
When rolls are baked, cool on wire racks. Drizzle icing over the top of each roll following the lines of the cut cross.
*1 1/2 cups warm skim milk may be substituted for the milk and water in the roll recipe above.
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided use)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm milk
2 Tablespoons softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
1/2 teaspoon anise seed
5 uncooked eggs
Non-toxic egg coloring
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the milk and butter and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes on medium. Add the eggs and 1/2 cup flour and beat on high for 2 minutes.
Stir in the fruit, nuts, and anise seed, mixing well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 to 8 minutes). Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
About 30 minutes before dough has finished rising, color the 5 eggs (leave them uncooked) with non-toxic dyes. When dry, lightly rub them with vegetable oil.
Punch down the risen dough. Divide in half. Roll each half into a 24-inch rope. On a greased baking sheet, loosely twist the two ropes together. Form into a ring and pinch the ends together. Gently split the ropes and tuck the 5 colored uncooked eggs into the openings. Cover and let rise again until doubled (about 30 minutes). Bake in a 350-degree F. oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.
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