Hot Cross Buns
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
5 cups flour
1 1/3 cups currants or raisins
1 egg white
1 1/3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
1- 2 tablespoons milk
In a small saucepan, warm the milk. Do not bring to a boil! It only needs to be warm enough to activate the yeast. Remove from heat and add the yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl with a mixer or dough hook, combine the sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs. Gradually add flour and continue to mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth. Cover with a moist cloth and set in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface (or in the mixing bowl with a dough hook) knead the dough until smooth and elastic; about 3 more minutes. Add the currants or raisins and mix well.
Shape dough in a ball, place in a bowl that has been buttered or lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit for 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature.
Lightly coat a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Divide dough into 24 equal parts. Shape each one into a ball and place it on the cookie sheet, leaving about 1/2 inch between each one. Cover and let rise in a warm location about an hour or until doubled in size.
When buns have risen, slash a cross in the top of each one and then brush them with egg white.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and continue to bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the cookie sheet to a cooling rack or serving tray.
During the last 15 minutes of baking, prepare the glaze by simply whisking the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl.
While the buns are still warm; spoon the glaze over the top of each one in a cross pattern.
Best when served warm.
*Because dough needs to be refrigerated overnight, you need to start this a day in advance.