I can now see why they’re such a favorite traditional Easter food for so many people. It’s ’cause they’re amazing. The best way I can describe them is that they are somewhere between a doughy dinner roll and a hot cinnamon bun, so basically it’s like getting to eat a portion of your dessert with dinner. They’re kind of like the Easter equivalent to Thanksgiving’s sweet potato casserole. But before I say a few more things about them can I tell you just a little about my weekend?
So my mom took me out with my older siblings this last Saturday to go hunting for some miscellaneous prop items that I’ve been needing. We decided to try the artisan tourist booths in Puerto Montt to see if they’d have what I was looking for. We perused the many shops in the lovely late summer weather with the air around us smelling strongly of freshly caught fish as the area is adjacent to the open-air fish market. Puerto Montt is one of the world’s leading exporters of salmon and some other kinds of fish and it also attracts a lot of tourism.
I didn’t actually find what I was looking for because these little booths are catering to the vacationers that stream in off the cruise ships porting nearby all summer, but we still had a great time browsing and we found some fun little things for Ryder and then Jenya found some adorable earrings too. The best part of the day was probably where we decided to eat. The restaurants in this country, at least for the most part, are all pretty sorry if I’m being honest. It’s kind of just a fact you have to accept when you live here, so that’s why we were so happy about finding this little unsuspecting hole-in-the-wall fish’n’chips place that we all agreed had some of the best fish we’ve ever eaten. It was so incredibly fresh and melt-in-your-mouth (clearly I’m trying to get in my monthly quota of clichés into one post) tender.
The group and I decided that I have got to do at least one post on the fish market along with trying to recreate the amazing meal so I can share the recipe. I really wanted to take my camera but, truth be told, it’s not in one of the better parts of town and carrying my dslr (which is ironically hot-rod red) around would be like painting a “stupid-tourista” target on my forehead. Plus, I knew I’d never be able to shop if I had it on me, but I am definitely going to plan a day specifically for photography because it’s a really cool place to see and I want to show you.
Um, did I mention the fact that this little outing was sort of for my birthday? Okay, but before you’re all like wishing me a happy birthday, just know that I’ve started to completely dread the day every year. I hate being the focus of attention and feeling obligated to do something that I don’t really want to do. That’s why we did this on Saturday because my b-day isn’t actually until tomorrow but the deal was that if I let them take me out on the weekend we could have a plain old Tuesday and pretend it’s any other day. My family understands me so well and I love them for it. I have to admit though, I’m going into full-blown denial right now you guys! My last moments as a teenager for the rest of forever are ticking away and I haven’t accepted it yet. I feel like Sally Albright,” I’m going to be forty! When? Someday, but it’s there!” I know that’s a bit dramatic for only turning twenty but it still applies. I’m not ready for all this adulting stuff, gimme back my polly pockets and Lisa Frank stickers please! It will most likely click with my mind by tomorrow, but seriously, sometimes you just need a good reality check you know?
That’s enough of me freaking out though, sorry peoples. I have to finish what I was telling you about this recipe. So it’s a pretty simple one to make and I’ve already got unanimous votes that it will become a new annual tradition for our house, although I might try leaving out the raisins or trading them for chocolate next time for those that aren’t into them. As for the sourdough part, well that can be left out if you don’t have or know someone who has sourdough starter. Just cut back on about half a cup of flour also if you want to skip it.
I made two batches of these and my crosses were much prettier on the second one but I’d already finished my photos and wasn’t in the mood to redo them so you’ll just have to settle with the less than perfect ones, hopefully you don’t mind. All right, so are we all agreed that these rolls are for sure going on the Easter dinner menu? K, awesomeness!
These hot cross buns aren't your typical Easter side item. They're made with sourdough starter and topped with a delicious cream cheese icing for the cross design. The balance of the sour with the sweet glaze and icing makes these divine!
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter
- 4 cups flour, plus more if needed
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Stir water, milk, sugar, salt, and yeast together until yeast is dissolved and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook and stir in egg, cinnamon, vanilla and melted butter until combined. Add sourdough starter and flour and turn on mixer to low. Mix until dough comes together and starts to pull away from side of bowl, adding a bit more flour as needed. Stir in raisins last then turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for a 2 to 3 minutes until dough is smooth and resilient. Place in oiled bowl, cover, and place in warm place to rise for about 1 hour until doubled in size.
- Line a baking tray with parchment or grease well with oil. Press dough down and divide into balls (I like to either do 12 balls in a rectangle or 20 in a circle[pictured].) Place tray in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes and, meanwhile, stir up your icing.
- Whisk cream cheese and powdered sugar together in a small bowl until completely smooth. Gradually whisk in milk and vanilla, then add flour and salt and stir smooth. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip and pipe crosses over the buns.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). When oven is ready, place tray inside and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until starting to turn golden brown on tops.
- While buns are in the oven combine the ingredients for the glaze in a very small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly until it just barely boils and sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat. Remove buns from oven and brush with the glaze then return to oven for 3 to 4 minutes longer to finish browning. Once they are golden, remove tray from ove again and brush for a second time with glaze and allow them to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Store in an airtight container.