Hot Cross Buns
1/4 cup dark rum or apple juice
1 cup dried fruit (raisin, currents, figs, cherries, cranberries, apricots* see note)
1 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk - save the egg white for topping
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Allspice, Ground
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 tablespoon milk
1 egg white, reserved
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons milk
1. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine the rum and raisins. Cover with plastic wrap, and microwave until just warm, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook add in all remaining bun ingredients. Knead the mixture, until the dough is soft and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Add in the raisins and all residual liquid. Mix for an additional minute to distribute the dried fruit.
4. Let the dough rise in a warm location for 1 hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk.
5. Divide the dough into 1/3 cup or 3 3/4 ounce portions, you should have 12-14 rolls. Roll the dough into smooth balls and arrange in prepared pan. Arrange them in the prepared pan, cover and let the buns rise for 1 hour or until they are touching.
6. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
7. Whisk together the reserved egg white and the milk, brush the buns.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until buns are golden brown. Turn buns out of the baking pan onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.
9. In a bowl combine the icing ingredients. Decorate each bun with a cross shape on top.