Hot Cross Buns from Scratch

Bake these beautiful buns--they're truly a treat. Make it a family project, or call a friend, so you can knock them out in an afternoon. You will need a heavy-duty stand mixer to make these yeast rolls. If necessary, borrow one from a neighbor, and pay her back with homemade Hot Cross Buns.

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2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1 cup warm milk (100° to 110°)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins
Sugar Glaze Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine yeast and 1/2 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add warm milk and next 5 ingredients. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.
Combine flour and cinnamon, and gradually add to yeast mixture, beating at medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in raisins.

Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down; cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes.Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2-inch round cutter.

Place on a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let rolls cool 10 minutes. Whisk together ingredients for Sugar Glaze and pipe Sugar Glaze over rolls in an "X" shape.

Photo by Ralph Anderson

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