Easter Recipe of the Day - HOT CROSS BUNS

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These are a tradition at Easter. The cross on the top is of icing and is to signify the rememberance of the cross of Jesus. These are really good at Easter breakfast!


2 packages active dry yeast (1/4 ounce each)
1/2 cup warm water*
1 cup warm milk*
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 1/2 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup dried currents
1/2 cup raisins
2 Tablespoons water
1 egg yolk
1 cup confectioner's sugar
4 teaspoons milk or cream
Dash salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Have the water and milk at 110-115 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the warm milk, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Stir in the dried fruit and enough flour to make a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn over to grease the top. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Punch the dough down and shape into 30 balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes). Using a sharp knife, cut a cross (or X) on the top of each roll. Beat the water and egg yolk together and brush over rolls. (You will probably have more than you need, discard the unused egg glaze.) Bake at 375-degree F. for 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make icing by combining the last four ingredients. Stir until smooth, adjusting sugar and milk to make a mixture that flows easily.

When rolls are baked, cool on wire racks. Drizzle icing over the top of each roll following the lines of the cut cross.

*1 1/2 cups warm skim milk may be substituted for the milk and water in the roll recipe above.

-- Karen (mountains_mama2@hotmail.com), March 22, 2002

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