Monday, April 30, 2012

Poking Fun Hot Cross Buns

What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?  A pit bull is delicious!

Poking Fun Hot Cross Buns
Makes 16 buns

Jesus would NOT approve of jokes told at somebody else's expense, but he'd give me a solid TEN for the buns!

3/4 cup warm milk 
2-1/2 tsp. dry yeast (1 pkg.)
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) melted butter
3 eggs, divided
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup diced candied ginger
1/4 cup diced candied orange peel
2 tsp. orange zest
6 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Whisk together milk, yeast and 1 Tbsp. sugar in medium bowl.  Let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add remaining sugar, all-purpose flour, bread flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves to bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade.  Pulse several times to combine.

Whisk butter and 2 eggs into milk mixture; add to dry ingredients in food processor.  Process 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until dough forms and spins around the perimeter of the processor (add 1 or 2 Tbsp. flour if dough appears too shaggy; however, dough should be slightly sticky). 

Transfer dough to stand-up mixer with dough hook.  Add currants, candied ginger, candied orange peel and orange zest.  Run on low speed 1 to 2 minutes until fruit is evenly distributed in dough.  Place dough in large bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

Punch down dough and divide into 2 pieces.  Roll each piece into a log, then cut each log evenly into 8 pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and place on baking sheet lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Cover with a towel and let rise until double, 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400°F.  Whisk remaining egg with 1 Tbsp. milk or water.  Using sharp knife, score tops of buns in a cross pattern; brush with egg mixture.

Bake 10-12 minutes on center rack of oven until buns are lightly browned.  Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Mix powdered sugar with 1-1/2 tsp. milk or water (mixture should be thick).  Spoon mixture in corner of small plastic sandwich bag.  Snip corner and squeeze bag gently to pipe frosting cross over score marks on buns.

You might be wondering, "Why am I using 2 pieces of equipment when 1 would do?"  I prefer to use a food processor to make dough.  I find that the quick process not only saves time, but uses the minimum amount of flour, which produces a superior, slightly sticky but never dry, dough.  I then use the stand-up mixer with the dough hook to gently incorporate the fruit into the dough, because doing so in the food processor would tear the fruit and muddy the color of the dough.  I don't mind using 2 pieces of equipment because I don't keep my equipment in a cabinet.  I have prioritized my kitchen setup to reflect my needs.  Since I use my equipment often, and I do not have cabinet space for these items, I keep them on my counter at all times, and I never pass up a good idea just because I have to take out equipment.

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