Tag Archives: cinnamon rolls

Hot Cross Buns

Where did Hot Cross Buns come from anyway? Apparently a 12th century monk got creative one Good Friday and added a cross to the buns he was baking. It kind of caught on and Hot Cross Buns became a tradition all over the world. I hope the monk got a promotion, although I’m guessing that by now he’s in Heaven and that’s quite a bit better than a promotion. Anyway, kudos to the monk and I’m glad he created these delicious Hot Cross Buns.

You can use currants, raisins or even dried cranberries for the added fruit, although the currants are superior because they’re small and are just tangy enough for the barely sweet buns. These little yeast buns came out so soft and fluffy and delicious. I had the piping for the crosses a little too thin and ended up glazing the entire tops of the rolls, but I think that may have made them even better!

This was the very first time I’d ever eaten Hot Cross Buns and I really enjoyed them. I warmed one up with a little pat of butter and it was just wonderful. I can’t wait till breakfast to have another one with morning coffee! Since this recipe makes 12 buns, I’ll freeze some of them. I think they’ll be just as good thawed and warmed up. I highly recommend making these for your Easter morning breakfast or brunch.

5 from 1 vote
Hot Cross Buns

****Original Recipe from NatashasKitchen.com.  Soft and fluffy buns - great for breakfast.

Servings: 12
  • 1/2 C currants
  • 1 C boiling water
  • 3/4 C warm milk (about 110°) divided
  • 1/2 C plus 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter melted and cooled
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 envelope Active or Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 2 large eggs well beaten
  • 3 1/2 to 4 C unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg well beaten with 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar mixed with 2 1/2 tsp milk or cream
  1. In a small bowl, combine currants with 1 cup of hot water.  Let sit 10 minutes, then drain well, pat dry, and set aside.

  2. In a large measuring cup, combine 1/4 cup warm milk with 1/2 tsp sugar and gently stir in the packet of yeast.  Let sit at room temperature until bubbly and almost doubled in volume (10-15 minutes).

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup warm milk with 1/2 cup of sugar, the cooled, melted butter and 1/2 tsp salt.  Add the 2 beaten eggs and proofed yeast mixture and mix.  Stir in the ground cinnamon and nutmeg.

  4. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and add flour, 1/2 cup at a time until a soft dough forms (after 3 1/2 cups, start adding 1/4 cup more at a time until the dough is a soft ball).  Knead 8-12 minutes with the mixer until smooth and elastic.  Dough will stick a little to the bowl, but not to your hands.

  5. Add the drained and patted-dry currants and transfer dough to a large buttered bowl, turning it to bring the buttered side up.  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free room 1 1/2 hours until doubled in volume.

  6. Turned out dough onto a lightly floured counter and cut in half.  Continue cutting dough until you have 12 equally-sized pieces.  Roll the pieces into smooth balls and put into a very buttered 9x13" baking pan or dish.  Cover and let sit in a warm area for 30-45 minutes, until slightly puffed up.

  7. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°.  Generously brush the tops of the risen buns with egg wash and bake for 15-17 minutes until tops are golden brown (or 190° when tested).  Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a rack.

  8. After buns are completely cooled, stir together the powdered sugar and 2 1/2 tsp. milk until thick enough to pipe (not too thin).  Put into a ziplock bag and cut a tip off one of the corners.  Pipe a cross shape over each of the buns (or make more glaze and cover the entire tops of the buns).  Good served warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes
Tips and Stuff: I ended up using about 3 3/4 cups of flour to get the ball to form in the mixer. If kneading by hand, knead for 8-12 minutes until you get a translucent window pane when stretching a small piece. When adding the currants, make sure they're patted dry so it won't make the dough sticky. To add the currants, add a couple of tablespoons at a time and fold in so that they're dispersed evenly through the dough. Make sure the 9x13" pan is buttered very generously so the buns won't stick. If they do stick a little, just gently ply them up with a flexible spatula.

Cinnamon Twist Bread with Butter Glaze (A Daring Kitchen Challenge)

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Daring Kitchen Challenge, but this one was right up my alley.  I love bread and am fairly competent (by no means an expert) at baking, and I know it will get eaten, so onward with the challenge.  Tandy from Lavender and Lime came up with this twist bread challenge for May and it was a fun learning experience.
Cinnamon Twist Bread with Butter Glaze3
I chose to make a Cinnamon Twist Bread and decided it needed a butter glaze on it – good decision.  The dough could be used for regular cinnamon rolls as well, but this time instead of slicing into rolls I sliced the dough through lengthwise, twisted it so that the cinnamon, sugar, butter mixture nicely showed with the twists, and formed it into a wreath shape.  Here’s a prebaked photo:
Cinnamon Twist Bread with Butter Glaze
It was a little messy, but I had my handy disposable gloves so I could really get the twist going without too much cinnamon butter mixture permanently shoved up my fingernails. The result was a lovely cinnamon twist wreath that was great right out of the oven or warmed up later for breakfast with coffee.
Cinnamon Twist Bread with Butter Glaze2
I do need a little practice with my twisting.  The ends that were pressed together got a little mushed, but it didn’t matter – it was still delicious and fairly attractive.  This would be a nice addition to a brunch or breakfast buffet or just something special for yourself!

Cinnamon Twist Bread with Butter Glaze
**** Wonderful cinnamon roll-like flavors with a luscious butter glaze.

3/4 C. warm milk
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 egg yolk
1/8 C. melted butter
2 1/4 C. flour
pinch of salt

1/4 C. softened butter
5 tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 C. melted butter
1/2 powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. evaporated milk for thinning

Warm the milk to lukewarm and mix in the yeast and sugar.  Let sit for a few minutes while the yeast bubbles and foams up.

Put the egg yolk, melted butter, flour and salt into a mixer bowl and mix on low with a dough hook until just blended.  Add the yeast mixture and knead the dough on medium for about 5 minutes or until a small piece stretched will “window pane.”  Roll into a smooth ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl.  Loosely cover and let sit for about an hour or until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Dust the work surface lightly with flour and roll out the dough to approximately 16″ long by 9 or 10″ wide.  Combine the very-softened butter with the sugar and cinnamon and spread it over the dough, spreading to about 1/2″ from the edges.  Carefully roll up the dough lengthwise.  Cut the dough in half lengthwise and twist the two sides together, making sure the cinnamon mixture shows on the outside of the twists. Shape into a circle and lightly press the ends together.

Cover a cookie or baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown.  Turn out onto a rack with a sheet of wax paper under it.  Combine the glaze ingredients, thinning to your liking, and brush the glaze onto the warm bread. If you have any leftover bread, store at room temperature loosely wrapped in aluminum foil.

Tips and Stuff
To warm the milk, pour into a glass measuring cup and microwave for about 15 seconds until warm (not hot) to the touch.  You don’t want to kill the poor little yeast by putting it in overly hot water.  Also check the date on your yeast and don’t use old yeast.
You can knead it by hand for 8 to 10 minutes if you prefer.  I find that the mixer with the dough hook works just fine.
If you’d rather leave the butter glaze off, just combine a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons or so of evaporated milk and drizzle over the bread.

Buttery Cinnamon Rolls

This month the Daring Bakers kept our creativity rolling with cinnamon bun inspired treats. Shelley from C Mom Cook dared us to create our own dough and fill it with any filling we wanted to; craft tasty rolled treats, cinnamon not required.  I went with the classic buttery cinnamon roll that has lots of pockets for the delicious gooey butter-cream cheese icing to drip down into!

I had to dust off the bread maker to start with – the last time I used it was at least five years ago, mainly because I’ve learned to make dough with my Kitchen Aid mixer.  It’s a good thing the recipe tells the order to put the ingredients into the bread maker, because I sure didn’t remember!  It made a beautiful dough and I got more slices than the recipe called for:
Cinnamon Roll Roll
After covering with a dish towel and rising for almost an hour, the rolls were enormous and were fairly mushed into my pan. Next time – two pans!
Cinnamon Rolls Prebaked2
I remember now why I don’t make these very often – they’re so incredibly irresistible and my arteries harden just looking at them. With coffee in the morning? Nothing better. They’re definitely Texas-sized and have the big ole taste to go with it! Dense, soft and tender with that wonderful icing. These are going back in my once a year (maybe twice a year) file instead of once a decade file and would be wonderful for the holidays!
Cinnamon Roll Finished
Just a tip – don’t try to warm the egg to room temperature by warming it between your stomach and shirt. No matter how carefully you hold it, it will bust and decorate your shirt in egg. That may have happened to me….

Buttery Cinnamon Rolls
***** Possibly the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had!! Fairly easy to make and definitely worth the time.

1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup warm milk
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tsp teaspoons milk

Place the following ingredients into the pan of your bread machine: water, melted butter, vanilla pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast. Set machine to Dough cycle and choose Start. When Dough cycle has finished, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into about a 17×10 inch rectangle. Spread rectangle of dough with softened butter. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the dough. Beginning with the long edge, roll up dough as tightly as possible without the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture coming out the sides. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9×13 buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.

Tips and Stuff:
I’ve seen similar recipes that use the entire packet of pudding, but it seems to turn out perfect just using half.
I warmed the water and milk in the microwave until it was very warm (not hot) to the touch. Too warm will kill the yeast.
I didn’t use the pecans.
I roll mine a little looser – that way there are those wonderful crevices for the icing to soak into.  Frost while the buns are warm.
I refrigerate mine because of the butter-cream cheese icing.  If serving from the refrigerator, microwave them for 22 to 25 seconds (depending on the strength of your microwave).
Don’t add extra  butter on top of them after warmed up or you will die, I mean really die from the richness…..