Cranberry hot cross buns are easy to make, but it takes time to let them rise. They need to rise twice and that in my opinion is the hardest part, but well worth the wait.
Cranberry hot cross buns have delicious spices in them that make the whole house smell aromatic when they are baking. The right amount and types of spices are what makes them so tasty in my opinion.
To make the dough for the cranberry hot cross buns, start by letting the yeast rise. In a measuring cup or a small mixing bowl, add 2 teaspoons of dry active yeast, 2 tablespoons of sugar and mix well. To this add 3/4 cup of warm milk (at 110 degrees F). Allow to sit for about 15 mins so the yeast gets activated.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup of light brown sugar. The butter mixes better if it’s at room temperature. To the bowl, add 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice and 2 eggs – one at a time. Continue to whisk till everything is homogenous.
By now, the yeast should have bloomed. Add it to the bowl and mix well.
Now come the delicious spices. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of all spice and 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg to the bowl. Whisk well so that the spices are well mixed into the liquid. This will allow every bite of the ready buns to have an even amount of spice.
Add 3 1/2 cups of all purpose white flour to the bowl and mix well to form a dough. I love to knead the dough on the counter. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and put the dough on it and knead for about 5 mins. The will allow the flour to come together well and smoothen.
Now add the cranberries to the dough and continue kneading for a further 2 mins, ensuring that the cranberries are mixed evenly all over the dough.
Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and let it sit in a warm place for about an hour. The dough needs to rise. Once the dough has risen, punch it down a little to release the extra air bubbles. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and make 12 balls.
Line a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with parchment paper and place the balls on the sheet. Space them out evenly. The balls need to rise – this is the second rise. Cover the dough balls with a damp cloth and set aside for another hour. I usually place them in the oven turned on to “Bread Proof”. If your oven doesn’t have that setting, you can set it to 100 degrees F.
Once the balls have rises, it’s time to put the “crosses” on them. In a small mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 6 tablespoons of water and 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla. Mix well to make a paste. Pour the mix into an icing bag and make a small cup (about 1/2 a cm) at the bottom of the bag. Make crosses on the buns with this paste. If you don’t have an icing bag, you can use any zip lock bag. It works just as well.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake the buns for about 20 mins or till you see them brown.
Just before the 20 mins is over, in a small mixing bowl add 1/2 cup of sifted icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice, 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of orange zest. Mix well to make an icing that you will brush on the buns as soon as they come out of the oven. This gives the buns the sheen you often see on hot cross buns.
Now you are ready to enjoy cranberry hot cross buns right out of the oven in your own home. Cut one in half, toast it and put butter on it. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
Cranberry Hot Cross BunsCourse: BreakfastCuisine: CanadianDifficulty: Easy
These cranberry hot cross buns are full of cranberries and spices and are so delicious that one will not suffice. Once you taste one, you will want another guaranteed.
3/4 cups milk at 110 degrees F
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 1/2 cups of all purpose white flour
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup dried cranberries
- The flour for the cross
1/2 cup all purpose flour
6 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, or measuring cup, mix the yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Add the warm milk and stir well. Let sit for about 15 mins so the yeast blooms.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the brown sugar and butter.
- To this add orange juice and the eggs, one at a time.
- Once the yeast has bloomed, add it to the bowl and mix well.
- Add all of the spices to the bowl and mix so that the spices are evenly distributed.
- Add the cranberries to the bowl.
- Add the flour one cup at a time and mix well. Once all the flour has been added, knead it for about 5 mins or until it’s smooth.
- Place a damp cloth over the dough and set aside in a warm place for about an hour, so the dough can rise.
- Once the dough has risen, divide it into 12 even balls.
- Place the balls on a parchment lined 9 x 13 inch baking tray and cover with a damp cloth and set aside for another hour to rise again.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, water and vanilla for the crosses on the buns.
- Once the buns have risen, take a icing bag (or just a zip lock bag) and pour all the flour mix into the bag. Make a small cut at bottom of the bag (about 1/2 cm wide).
- Use the bag to make crosses on each of the buns.
- Bake for about 20 mins or until the buns are browned.
- While the buns are baking, mix the icing sugar, orange juice, lemon juice and orange zest in a small bowl.
- Once the buns are baked, pull them out of the oven and right away apply icing on each of them using a baking brush.
- Cut in half, toast in a toaster oven, butter and enjoy!
– Check out other breakfast recipes here.