As Easter is approaching, my wife decided to bake another hot cross buns (shown here without the cross). This recipe is from King Arthur's and is the best hot cross buns she ever made!
* 1/4 cup rum
* 1/2 cup mixed dried fruit
* 1/2 cup raisins or dried currants
* 1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature
* 3 large eggs, 1 separated (use the extra yolk in the dough)
* 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
* 2 teaspoons instant yeast
* 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 4 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour (with more as needed to form dough)
* 1 large egg white, reserved from above
* 1 tablespoon milk
1) Lightly grease a 10" square pan or 9" x 13" pan.
2) Mix together all of the dough ingredients except the fruit, and knead, using an electric mixer, till the dough is soft and elastic. The last few minutes of kneading mix in the fruit.
4) Let the dough rise for 1 hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk (#1 below).
5) Divide the dough into pieces, about 2 1/4 ounces each. Round them into balls. Arrange them in the prepared pan (#2 , each bun weighed for uniform size).
6) Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for 1 hour, or until they've puffed up and are touching one another #3). While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
7) Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it over the buns.
8) Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until they're golden brown #4). Remove from the oven, and transfer to a rack to cool (#5 and #6).
This is really good. We tasted one while they were still warm. They had a nice texture and top crust with rum flavor. We felt we do not need the icing.