Hot Cross Buns
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Zest from 1 small orange
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup rum
3/4 cup bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
5 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading and fruit
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened
Egg wash for baking: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1. Combine the fruit, spices, orange zest, vanilla and rum. Let sit overnight or longer at room temperature.
2. For the sponge, mix the flour and yeast. With a wooden spoon or whisk, stir in buttermilk. Cover and let sit at room temperature until very bubbly, about 1 hour.
3. Using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, combine the sponge with the final dough ingredients (except the egg wash). Mix on the lowest speed for 1 minute. Turn to medium; mix 5 minutes more.
4. Stir 1/4 cup flour into the fruit mixture; add to the dough, then mix for 2 minutes more. Add a little flour to the dough if too soft or water if too stiff. Spray dough with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until it increases in size by 1 1/2 times.
5. Line a 12-by-17-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Shape dough into 14 4-ounce rolls. Place 12 rolls in the pan, the place remaining rolls on a pie tin or another small pan. Spray with cooking spray, cover and let rise at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes or until rolls have almost doubled in size.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
7. Brush rolls with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light brown. They should spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool.
8. When rolls are cool, use the brown butter glaze (see Osterbrot recipe) to paint crosses on top.
-- Neucimar Dias Da Silva, Market Hall Bakery