Bay Hot Cross Buns
Ingredients

Makes about 36 buns

1 cup milk
3 large bay leaves, preferably fresh
1/4 cup light honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
About 8 cups unbleached white flour
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 egg white


Recipe

Scald the milk with 3 of the bay leaves. Remove it from the heat and dissolve the honey in it.

Soak the raisins in 2 cups of the warm water for 15 minutes, then drain and squeeze the excess water from them. Discard the soaking water.

Dissolve the yeast in the remaining 1/2 cup warm water.

Sift 8 cups of flour into a large bowl.

Beat the eggs lightly and add them, along with the salt and 1/2 cup water, to the milk and honey.

When the yeast is active, add it to the flour along with the milk mixture, melted butter, and raisins. Stir the liquid with a wooden spoon to incorporate about half of the flour. Remove the dough to a smooth surface and knead in the rest of the flour. Knead for about 5 minutes after the flour has been incorporated. The dough should be smooth and soft but not sticky. Knead in more flour if necessary.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight, or for up to 24 hours. Or let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Punch the dough down and divide it in half. Remove the bay leaves as you come across them. Roll each portion into a long cylinder about 3 inches in diameter.

Cut the cylinders into 1-inch slices and roll each slice into a ball. Place the balls on lightly buttered baking sheets. Cover the balls with a tea towel and let them rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375 º F.

Slash the top of each bun in a cross-shape with a sharp knife. Beat the egg white until frothy and brush each bun lightly with it.

Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown. Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. Drizzle them with Simple Icing along the slash marks if desired.

 

SIMPLE ICING

Makes about 1/2 cup of icing

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle the icing over the cooled Bay Hot Cross Buns, or other sweet rolls, or cookies.

  • Recipe ©2009 Susan Belsinger
Enjoy!

 

From the Full Moon Native recipe files