I love making hot cross buns every year around Easter. So here are My Favorite Hot Cross Buns. They are well-spiced with amazing flavor and so fluffy. Perfect for Easter breakfast, brunch, dinner, or really any time of the year!
1½cupslukewarm evaporated milk (sub with whole milk)See Note 1, milk should be heated to about 110° F
2large eggs, at room temperature
4tablespoonsunsalted butter, melted
1Tablespoonlemon zestfrom 2-3 lemons
1Tablespoonunsalted butter, room temperature for greasing pan
For The Crosses
⅓cupwater + 1 Tablespoon
For The Glaze
1Tablespoonlemon juice, freshly squeezed
Grease a 9 by 13 baking dish with butter.
In a large bowl, the bowl of a stand mixer or a bread machine, combine all the ingredients for the dough. Mix them together using the stand mixer, bread machine, or by hand. I mixed the dough using the dough function of my bread machine. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in the buttered baking dish.
To ensure every bun is of the same size, you could weigh the buns on a kitchen scale. But I hardly do this. I just eyeball them.
Place the buns in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. I love to turn on my oven for 1-2 minutes then I turn off my oven and place my dough inside to rise. This works perfectly for me everytime.
When the buns are almost done rising, preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.
Make the flour paste for the crosses. Mix together the flour, water, and sugar to form a pipeable paste. Pour the paste into a Ziploc bag then snip the corner. Hold the bag over the buns and carefully draw crosses over the risen buns with the flour paste.
Bake the buns in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until dark brown on top.
Make the lemon glaze. In a small bowl mix together the lemon juice, powdered sugar, and water. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze over the buns while they are still hot.
Serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight bag in the fridge for 2-3 days. To reheat, simply pop a bun into the microwave and reheat for 15 seconds.
I love using evaporated milk in baked goods because it is so flavorful. But you could substitute it with whole milk or 2 percent milk.
For more flavor, you could also add a quarter teaspoon of ground cardamom to the dough. However, note that cardamom can be overpowering so make sure you do not add too much.