As soon as I inhale that distinctive and heady aroma of orange peel, cinnamon and raisins, I’m transported to my grandmother’s kitchen. Nanny Crawford’s oven was always warm. And from the first crisp days of April through to winter solstice, her oven was oft-filled with hot cross buns that taste both of my privileged childhood and pure magic. With their plump fruit, light-as-brioche texture, and sticky-fingered glaze – here is a family heirloom from me to you: The Nanny Crawford Hot Cross Bun.
For the buns:
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cups of warm milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 1/4 cup of candied orange peel
- 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 package of active dry yeast
For the crosses:
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 5-6 tablespoons of water
For the glaze:
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of water
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the warm milk, melted butter, and beaten egg. Mix well.
- Add the yeast to the wet ingredients and stir until the yeast has dissolved.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together.
- Add the raisins and candied orange peel to the dough and knead until they are evenly distributed.
- Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and shape them into balls.
- Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving a little bit of space between them.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour and water for the crosses. Mix until you have a smooth, thick paste.
- Using a piping bag or a small spoon, pipe the crosses on top of the buns.
- Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved.
- As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush them with the glaze while they are still hot.
- Let the buns cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy the Nanny Crawford Hot Cross Buns!