Sweet spicy rolls for Easter brunch

Golden brown and filled with currants and spices, Hot Cross buns are traditionally served for breakfast in the British Isles.Often bakery made, they can also be made at home, and are nice for a company brunch or for family meals.

Along with Easter eggs and baskets, these sweet, delicately spiced yeast rolls can easily become a traditional Easter treat to look forward to each year. Serve them warm from the oven or toasted with plenty of sweet butter.

This recipe comes from Norma Voth's ''Festive Breads of Easter'' (Scottsdale, Penn.: Herald Press). Hot Cross Buns 3 1/2 cups flour 3/4 cups lukewarm milk 1/2 cup lukewarm water 1 package active dry yeast 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup melted butter 1/4 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 2 eggs 2/3 cup currants 1/4 cup diced citron Egg glaze Lemon glaze

In mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour, milk, water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Beat well. Set in warm place until frothy.

Melt butter; cool. To yeast sponge, add remaining sugar, salt, melted butter and spices; beat in eggs, one at a time. Add 1 cup flour and beat 5 minutes with electric mixer.

Gradually add remaining flour, currants, and citron. Turn out onto floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.

Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top of dough. Cover with kitchen towel and set in warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down.

Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead lightly for 2 minutes. Divide dough into 24 equal parts and shape into buns. Place well apart on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Make a cross on each bun with sharp knife. Brush with egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden in color. Cool on wire rack.

Mix together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, and 1 1/2 tablespoons milk. Drizzle over buns in the cross design.

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