This is the first of three fun recipes I made for Easter. Hot cross buns are a traditional English pastry made for Good Friday. I started mine on Good Friday, finished them on Saturday, and shared them with family on Easter Sunday.
I followed this recipe, using raisins as my dried fruit (because we had them on hand). I definitely needed to add a little more milk, as Nigella warns you might, because my dough was way to dry initially. And, if you don't have time to let the dough rise in the fridge overnight, letting it rise in a warm place for about an hour and a half works just as well.
In addition to the song I think we all learned as kids, there are a few old legends about hot cross buns. One is that, if you share a bun with a friend, you will remain friends forever. Another says that you can keep a bun all year without it going bad, and that it will cure anything that ails you.
I can't testify to any of that, but I do know that these little buns are a lot of fun to make. They are a bit complicated: they need to rise, there's the cross, and finally a sugary glaze to brush on at the end. But I found the ritual to be an enjoyable weekend task. Somehow foods that take a little time and even some special attention, just feel more special.