The hot cross bun recipe on NY Times Cooking garnered a lot of comments—I assume from Brits—that HCBs don’t have icing. So, wanting to try a proper Easter bun, I looked up the suggested recipe from BBC Good Food (which happened to be Paul Hollywood’s for you Great English Baking Show fans). The dough is a lovely, soft enriched yeasted dough filled with holiday flavors of candied orange and lemon peel, currants, fresh chopped apple and cinnamon. They’re a lot of work with three provings, two keadings, weighing of dough for symmetrical buns and baking at 200 C. fan for 20 minutes (American translation: exactly 392 F. in a convection oven for 18 minutes—mine almost burned!) The major departure from our American HCBs is the cross is made with a paste of flour and water that’s piped on to the prebaked buns. The results were gorgeous but I can’t help but think the cross of flavorless flour paste is a missed opportunity. Why not use the cross to add some flavor? Maybe an almond flour paste? The buns taste wonderful but my American palate is missing the icing. My apologies to my English ancestors. Next year, I’ll experiment with different concoctions for more flavorful crosses.
So, get a cup of coffee and talk amongst yourselves: Are your buns frosted? Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Sunday, Happy Spring, Happy Fall.