Almond Hot Cross Buns
- 1 stick butter, sliced thinly
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup warm water (no hotter than 110°F)
- 2-5/16 oz packages of active dry yeast or 2 tablespoons
- 1-7 oz box Odense Almond Paste (grated using large hole side of box grater)
- 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon
- 1/4 cup safflower oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon each, cinnamon and cardamom
- 2 large eggs
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups bread flour
- 1 cup raisins or any 1 cup combination of raisins, golden raisins, chopped citron and or apricots Favorite white icing
1 -2 hours first rise
60 minutes to shape into buns and complete second rise 30-35 minutes to bake
- Add butter and milk to a medium sauce pan, heat to melt butter. Set aside to cool a bit. Add warm water to a small bowl. Whisking, slowly sprinkle yeast and teaspoon of sugar into warm water until yeast is dissolved and smooth. Set aside until bubbly and doubled in size (about 10 minutes).
- Meanwhile add Almond Paste (grated using large hole side of box grater) and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar to a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until the texture of sand. This step can be done in a mixer but won't be as finely chopped. Add reserved milk mixture and oil, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Process or beat until combined. Separate eggs. Beat yolks into almond mixture and reserve whites in a separate bowl. Cover egg whites and set aside. If using a food processor, at this point, pour mixture into a mixing bowl along with bubbled yeast mixture. Beat well.
- Add one cup of flour at a time to batter, mixing with a spoon or dough hook. Add 1 cup of fruit (of choice) after 2 cups of flour. Beating well between additions, continue to mix in remaining flour until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured counter and knead a few minutes until dough is not sticking to counter. Resist the urge to add too much flour.
- Shape dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Turn dough so top is oiled. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and a hand towel. Let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1-2 hours). Meanwhile beat reserved egg whites with 2 teaspoons water. Cover and set aside.
- Punch bread down and shape into a 12 inch roll. Cut into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls. Place balls in a greased 13 x 9 inch pan, making 4 rows of 3 buns each. Cover and let rise 50-60 minutes. Thirty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 400°F.
- Gently brush buns with egg wash and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let pan rest on a wire rack and cool to lukewarm. Make a cross on each bun with your favorite confectionary icing and serve.