A Fruit Lover’s Twist on a Good Friday Tradition: Orange-Glazed Hot Cross Buns

03/24/2016 at 11:14 AM ET

Orange Hot Cross Buns Recipe for Good Friday
Courtesy MyRecipes.com

You’ve devoured whole packages of Peeps and decorated scores of eggs — so what’s your next Easter tradition to embrace?

Making hot cross buns, the spicy-sweet treat studded with dried fruit, topped with white icing and often served on Good Friday.

These delectable dough boys aren’t your average baked good: Their history dates back to the Middle Ages, when a 12th-century monk baked the pastry in the days before Easter with a cross design that represented the crucifixion of Christ.

RELATED: The 20 Cutest Recipes to Make this Easter

If you believe the myths, the cinnamon- and nutmeg-flavored buns aren’t just mouthwateringly delicious, but powerful, too. Bake a batch on Good Friday and they won’t get moldy for a year. Even better: Hang one in your kitchen and you’ll ward off evil spirits. (While, possibly, attracting flies.)

This version, from MyRecipes.com, deviates from tradition by using plump currants instead of raisins and topping the buns with a powdered-sugar glaze sweetened with orange and lemon juices.

They’re so good, you’ll want to make them year-round!

Orange Hot Cross Buns
Makes 16

¾ cup warm (100° to 110°F) whole milk
4½ tsp. (2 packages) active dry yeast
1 large egg, plus 2 tbsp. beaten egg
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
½ tsp. cinnamon
Finely shredded zest of 1 large orange
About 3 cups flour
½ cup chopped candied orange peel
¼ cup dried currants
2 tsp. fresh orange juice
2 tsp. fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar

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

2. Blend in 2¾ cups flour. Beat on medium speed until dough is smooth and stretchy, 10-12 minutes. Add just enough flour (about ¼ 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 1¼ hours.

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

4. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place until doubled and puffy, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

5. Brush buns with beaten egg. Bake until deep golden, 13-15 minutes. Let cool in pans at least 30 minutes.

6. 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.

RELATED: Your Essential Easter Menu: Slow Cooker Glazed Ham and Easy Spring Sides

—Nancy Mattia

FILED UNDER: Baking , Breakfast , Easter , Food , Recipes

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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