Catholic Recipe: Hot Cross Buns III
In the sixth century, Pope Gregory ordained that only bread, salt, and vegetables should be eaten on Good Friday. Loaves of bread were marked with a cross before they were baked, to indicate that they might be eaten on this day. These marked loaves were the ancestors of the hot cross buns we like so much at this season.
Nowadays, these fragrant, raisin-studded buns are served often all through Lent, but always on Good Friday. Try this recipe for yourself.
These hot cross buns would be a great treat to serve on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, since the cross on the top of the bun reminds us of the feastday.
Scald milk; add butter or margarine, sugar, and salt. Stir until sugar dissolves; cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast on water; stir until dissolved. Add to milk mixture. Add half the flour; mix well. Stir in 2 eggs. Add enough flour to make a soft dough; mix well. Knead about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl; brush with shortening. Cover; let rise in warm place till double in bulk — about 1-1/2 hours. Punch down. Turn out on floured board; knead in raisins. Shape into 1-1/2-inch balls. Place in greased shallow baking pans, 1 inch apart. Brush with egg yolk diluted with a little water. Cover; let rise till double in bulk — about 1 hour. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Cool. Make crosses on buns with Confectioners' Sugar Icing (see recipe). Makes about 2-1/2 dozen buns.Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965