Good Friday, Great Buns

One of the first songs my daughter learned when she was a toddler was "Hot Cross Buns."  She also sang "Muffin Man" repeatedly and loudly, especially while running through the university campus where I was a student and she attended preschool.  In our family, our love of bread was announced and celebrated in songs.

In this recipe for Hot Cross Buns I've replaced the raisins or currants with dried cranberries and cherries, and added almond extract and bourbon. 

Hot Cross Buns
Makes 8 - 10 buns

1/2 cup buttermilk, warmed
1/2 stick butter, melted in buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon yeast
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Small handful maraschino cherries, drained and chopped (about 1/8 cup)
1/4 cup craisins, chopped and soaked in 1 tablespoon bourbon
Zest of one orange
Olive oil

Butter, 1 egg beaten

Combine milk, butter, vanilla, sugar, and yeast in mixing bowl; allow yeast to bubble, about 5 minutes. Add flour, baking powder, salt, spices, cherries, craisins in bourbon, and zest; knead by machine about 5 minutes to make a very smooth dough. Allow to rise 2 hour in warm place, covered, or until nearly doubled.

Brush rolls with beaten egg and bake 20 - 25 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven until rolls are golden brown and cooked through. Cool on rack

Combine powdered sugar, fresh squeezed orange juice, and almond extract to make a glaze; criss-cross glaze over tops of rolls.


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