Hot cross buns are just one of those things.
I don't think about them all year and then BOOM - the week before Easter I get an intense craving for one.
Lightly toasted, heavily buttered, with a hot cup of tea.
In Canada, we don't make the flour/water cross on top, we usually just pipe a cross on (after baking) with a thick icing.
I prefer the tradition of flour and water cross to be honest, but I still include a light glaze on my finished buns.
Made with orange juice and a dash of vanilla, the zingy and sweet glaze goes with the fruity bun very well.
If you enjoy eating hot cross buns that are light and airy, this might not be the recipe for you.
In terms of texture, I enjoy a denser bun. It just feels more wholesome and filling to me and one is often enough to satisfy my hot cross bun craving.
It toasts really nicely too, making a great breakfast. You could even slice it up and make bread pudding or French toast, if there are any left after a day or two.
Because this is a heavier, enriched dough, it needs to rise in a nice, warm place. For the first rise, it could take up to two hours to double in size.
Once they're baked, I let them sit and cool at room temperature. They soften as they sit. Then I pour on the glaze.
For the dough:
10g dry active yeast
10g caster sugar
200ml whole milk, warmed slightly
1 tsp vanilla
Rind of one large orange
1 tsp each: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
200g dark brown sugar
75g softened butter
2 large eggs
200g raisins or sultanas
450g strong flour
1 tsp salt
For the bread cross:
80g plain flour
For the citrus glaze:
200g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
80ml orange juice