This is like my favorite thing ever! I totally love a fresh hot cross bun! St George Day is coming up (April 23) and every year I make these for my family sometimes we even put charms in them for luck!
This is Saint George slaying the Dragon.
St George has lots of stories. It is said he killed the last Dragon of Europe. I have no idea if this is true, and if it is, I am kinda sad. He is also one of the great Martyrs. Many countries have him as the Patron Saint and the country Georgia is named after him.
He is also the Patron Saint of Brave soldiers and Boy Scouts. My Grandfather fought in WWII and he did not talk about the war too much. I understand why he was in the 36th division and saw a lot of action. There is one story he would tell me. He would say there is no atheist in the fox hole.
He told me a story of being deep behind enemy lines and alongside British soldiers. He told me the battle was rough and they thought they were all going to die. He prayed for a miracle and he was not the only one who did.
He told me that what looked like a knight in armor rode up to them and told them to go to arms. The British recognized him as their Patron Saint and followed him to battle. Not to be outdone, the Americans followed. By the Grace of God, they lived and won. Once the battle ended my grandfather said that Saint George turned and saluted them with his sword and vanished.
My Grandfather believed with all of his heart that Saint George saved him. Saint George is the reason I am alive. I carry a St. Geroge coin as my good luck charm and I am thankful for all the Solders he brings home. So every April 23rd I remember him!
Hot Cross Buns
Now, for the real reason, you came to this post. My favorite spring recipe!
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 5 tablespoons butter (more melted later)
- 1 large egg yolk (save the whites for brushing)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 3/4 finely grated salt
- 1/2 nutmeg
- 1/2 cinnamon
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup raisins
- Take both types of raisins, add a little water and microwave them for 30 seconds. Strain out the excess water and let them cool and dry. You want them as dry as you can.
- Set oven to lowest temperature. and let it heat up.
- In a large measuring cup or small microwave safe bowl, warm water, milk, and butter. Should only need about 30 seconds. You do not want the milk cooked but you want it close to the body temp. Add the yeast and sprinkle a little sugar. Set it aside until the yeast is frothy. Do not stir.
- In a med size bowl, sift flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Beat egg yolk, and add to flour mix. Slowly add the yeast mix (once it is frothy) to the flower.
- It will get hard to mix and will become more dough like. On a lightly floured surface, fold the raisins into the dough while kneading the dough until it is like elastic.
- Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, and flip it over. (This should add a light coat of oil to both sides of the dough.) Let rise until the dough has lost all the elastic feel. It should double in size and may take about an hour or two. Set it on top of the stove to help speed up the rise.
- Turn up the heat in the on the stove to 350 degrees.
- Press the dough down to release the gas and softly knead it down.
- Form the dough into rolls and let them rise a second time in the pan. Once they double in size, brush the dough with the egg white. (I forgot this step for the ones in the photos) Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Top with a lemon zest or other white frosting.
These are best while still warm, but will last a couple of days. Once these go stale, they are not so good, so enjoy early!