EASTER HOT CROSS BUNS WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup currants or raisins
1/3 cup candied orange peel (optional)
1 egg yolk mixed with 2 Tablespoons water
cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
Combine 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, heat milk and butter to very warm (120 to 130 degrees F). Add to flour.
Beat on medium speed of mixer for 1 minute. Add eggs. Beat another minute. Stir in currants, orange peel and enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding additional flour as needed.
Place in a buttered bowl, turning to butter top. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about one hour.
Punch down dough; turn onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half; divide each half into 9 pieces.
Form each piece into a smooth round ball. Place balls of dough in two buttered 8-inch square baking pans. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Brush lightly with egg yolk mixture.
Bake rolls in preheated 375 degrees F oven, 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pans.
Cool on wire rack. Drizzle frosting across the top of each bun in the shape of a cross. Makes 18 buns.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon milk
Beat cream cheese and sugar in a bowl until smooth.
Add up to 1 teaspoon of milk or just till the frosting is a good consistency for drizzling.