Orange Hot Cross Buns
Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto
Yields Makes 16 Prep Time 3 hrs 30 mins
You'll need to plan ahead to find or make candied orange peel (see sources at the end of the recipe)—it's worth it.

How to Make It

Step 1
1

In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine milk and yeast; let stand until yeast softens, 5 to 10 minutes. Add whole egg, granulated sugar, butter, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange zest. Beat on medium speed with dough hook until blended.

Step 2
2

Blend in 2 3/4 cups flour. Beat on medium speed until dough is smooth and stretchy, 10 to 12 minutes. Add just enough flour (about 1/4 cup) so dough is only slightly tacky. Add orange peel and currants, pick up dough, and mix with your hands to distribute fruit. Return dough to bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/4 hours.

Step 3
3

Punch down dough. With floured hands, shape into 16 smooth rounds. Evenly space rounds in 2 buttered 8- or 9-in. square pans.

Step 4
4

Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place until doubled and puffy, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Brush buns with beaten egg. Bake until deep golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool in pans at least 30 minutes.

Step 5
5

In a small bowl, stir together juices and powdered sugar until smooth. Spoon into a small, heavy-gauge plastic bag, snip a hole in a corner, and squeeze icing onto buns to form large Xs.

Step 6
6

*Buy from gourmet food stores and amazon.com, get the recipe on sunset.com, or substitute orange marmalade: Heat 18 oz. thick-cut marmalade until bubbling, strain well, and substitute 1/4 cup of the syrup for the granulated sugar in step 1 and 1/2 cup orange pieces for the candied orange in step 2; add 1/4 cup extra flour in step

Step 7
7

Note: Nutritional analysis is per bun.

Ingredients

 3/4 cup warm (100° to 110°) whole milk
 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
 1 large egg plus 2 tbsp. beaten egg
 1/4 cup granulated sugar
 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
 3/4 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  Finely shredded zest of 1 large orange
  About 3 cups flour
 1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel*
 1/4 cup dried currants
 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
 2 teaspoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Step 1
1

In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine milk and yeast; let stand until yeast softens, 5 to 10 minutes. Add whole egg, granulated sugar, butter, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange zest. Beat on medium speed with dough hook until blended.

Step 2
2

Blend in 2 3/4 cups flour. Beat on medium speed until dough is smooth and stretchy, 10 to 12 minutes. Add just enough flour (about 1/4 cup) so dough is only slightly tacky. Add orange peel and currants, pick up dough, and mix with your hands to distribute fruit. Return dough to bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/4 hours.

Step 3
3

Punch down dough. With floured hands, shape into 16 smooth rounds. Evenly space rounds in 2 buttered 8- or 9-in. square pans.

Step 4
4

Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place until doubled and puffy, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Brush buns with beaten egg. Bake until deep golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool in pans at least 30 minutes.

Step 5
5

In a small bowl, stir together juices and powdered sugar until smooth. Spoon into a small, heavy-gauge plastic bag, snip a hole in a corner, and squeeze icing onto buns to form large Xs.

Step 6
6

*Buy from gourmet food stores and amazon.com, get the recipe on sunset.com, or substitute orange marmalade: Heat 18 oz. thick-cut marmalade until bubbling, strain well, and substitute 1/4 cup of the syrup for the granulated sugar in step 1 and 1/2 cup orange pieces for the candied orange in step 2; add 1/4 cup extra flour in step

Step 7
7

Note: Nutritional analysis is per bun.

Orange Hot Cross Buns