"It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, "Certainly this man was innocent."(Updated to answer questions and add a photo!)
--Luke 23: 44-47
Hot Cross Buns, sweet leavened rolls made with currents or other fruit, are traditionally served on Good Friday. A cross is made on top with a knife, strips of dough, or with frosting, as a symbol of the crucifixion of Christ. Ours will be rising while I'm at the Good Friday service at our church this afternoon, and then we'll eat them with tea afterward.
Hot Cross Buns
(from Martha Stewart.com)
Makes 2 dozen
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl, pan, and knife
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons plus a pinch of coarse salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/3 cup currants
- 1 large egg white
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Generously butter a large bowl. Set aside. Place 1 cup milk in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Heat until a candy thermometer registers 110 degrees. Pour milk into bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. With machine on low speed, add granulated sugar, yeast, 2 teaspoons salt, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and whole eggs. Add flour, one cup at a time, and mix on low speed until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms around dough hook. Continue kneading, scraping down hook and sides of bowl as necessary, until smooth, about 4 minutes more.
- Add currants; knead, with dough hook, to incorporate. Turn dough out on to a heavily floured surface. Knead briefly to evenly distribute currants in dough. Shape into a ball. Place dough in prepared bowl. Turn to coat with butter. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Generously butter an 11-by-17-inch baking pan. Set aside. Turn dough out onto work surface. Knead briefly and divide dough into 24 equal pieces (about 2 ounces each). Shape each into a tightly formed ball. Place on prepared pan, spacing 1/2-inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until buns are touching and doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees with rack positioned in center. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg white, 1 tablespoon water, and a pinch of salt. Brush tops of buns with egg wash. Using scissors or a very sharp, buttered slicing knife, cut a cross into the top of each bun.
- Bake until golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Rotate front to back after 10 minutes to ensure even color. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Whisk together remaining tablespoon milk, confectioners' sugar, and lemon juice. Pipe or ladle glaze over buns.