Hot Cross Buns

Adapted from The Purity Cookbook

1c / 250 ml milk
3/4 c / 175 ml sugar
1/2 tsp / 2 ml salt
1/3 c / 75 ml butter
1 tsp / 5 ml sugar
1/2 c / 125 ml lukewarm water
1 tbsp / 15 ml active dry yeast
1 egg, beaten
1 egg, separated
1 tsp / 5 ml cinnamon
1/2 tsp / 2 ml nutmeg
1/4 tsp / 1 ml mace
1/4 tsp / 1 ml ginger
2-1/2 c / 625 ml unbleached white flour
2-1/2 c / 625 ml whole wheat flour
1 c / 250 ml raisins or currants
1 tbsp / 15 ml water
3/4 c / 175 ml icing sugar
1/4 c / 1 ml vanilla
1 tbsp / 15 ml milk

Heat milk until hot but not boiling. Pour into a large bowl and add sugar, salt and butter. Stir until butter melts and cool to lukewarm.

Meanwhile dissolve second amount of sugar into warm water. Sprinkle with yeast. Let stand 10 minutes. Then stir briskly with a fork and add to milk mixture. Beat in egg, yolk, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and ginger.
Beat in whole wheat flour. Mix in raisins or currants. Stir in white flour until it becomes difficult, then work in the rest by hand. Knead 8 or 10 minutes.

Shape into a smooth ball and turn into a greased bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes. Punch down and shape into 18 buns. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Combine one egg white and 15 ml water. Brush risen buns with mixture. Slash top of bun in the form of a cross. Bake in preheated 400F oven for 15 to 18 minutes.

When buns are cool, mix icing sugar, milk and vanilla to make glaze. Put in a plastic sandwich bag and snip a tiny hole in one corner. Use as a piping bag to pipe crosses on tops of buns.

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