Sourdough Hot-Cross Buns

| 4/7/2014 12:16:00 PM

Hot-cross buns, full of tasty dried fruits and spices, are a long-time British Easter tradition. Although I am not British I am from New England and grew up considering many British traditions my own. Thus, I have been making hot cross buns every spring for 25 years (ok – maybe a few more years than that, but who’s counting?).

This particular recipe is not your usual hot-cross bun recipe. It's much much better. All of the other recipes from past years, the ones with vanilla or citron or just a touch of cinnamon, faded into the background like Dorothy’s Kansas, while these hot-cross buns are the new, exciting, colorful Oz.

Hot Cross Buns

Fruit And Spices For Hot-Cross Buns

Most recipes call for plenty of warm spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. For this version though, I used ground mace. Mace is made from the lacy covering of the nutmeg and has a less pronounced, but just as unique, flavor.

Instead of the usual purchased candied fruit peel, I made my own Candied Meyer Lemon Peel. Candied orange peel would be good here, too.

And I used currents instead of raisins. Currents are sweet as raisins, with just a touch of tartness. They taste like a cross between raisins and lingonberries. Unlike raisins, currents really come into their own once they are cooked. Save the raisins for another recipe – this one lets the currents shine. And to top the rolls off, the icing was made using orange juice instead of milk, for an added boost of flavor.

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