This image is from a Victorian book called"Children's Songs With Music". The inscription on the inside reads "Dear Irene, with Grannies best love. Xmas 96.
We have made these hot cross buns for a very long time now and I thought that I would pass the recipe on. It comes from an old cookbook published by the Vancouver Sun called "Edith Adams Bread Book". Edith Adams was a ficticious character and that is all that I know about her. Try them you may like them.
Spicy Hot Cross Buns
Sift together 4 cups all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon allspice, and ½ teaspoon cloves. Add ¾ cup washed raisins, 1/3 –1/2 cup of mixed peel, ½ cup chopped cherries (opt.) Dissolve a teaspoon of sugar in ¼ cup warm water; sprinkle with 1 package yeast. Proof for 10 minutes and then stir well. Heat 1-cup water; add 1-teaspoon salt, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons soft shortening, and 1 beaten egg. Mix well. When lukewarm add yeast. Pour into well in flour, stirring until liquid disappears. Form into a ball and knead for 2 minutes. Brush top with melted butter, cover with damp then dry towels. Let rise double. Punch down. Put ball of dough on lightly floured board; cover; rest 10 minutes. Cut in two; form into cylinders. Cut each cylinder in to 9 parts. Form into slightly flat balls. Put in 2 greased 9” square pans or 2” apart on baking sheets. Cover and let rise. Cut crosses in tops. Bake. After 15 minutes brush with glaze of 2 tablespoons sugar and two tablespoons of hot milk or hot water. Finish baking. Reglaze. Cool on racks. Frost in creases if desired. Makes 18 buns. BAKE: 375 deg. F for 20 – 25 minutes.
My adaptation to the recipe.
I use whole-wheat flour. It does make them denser but they are very tasty. Any time it mentions sifting I put the flour and /or spices into a large bowl and incorporate them with a French whisk. Using a whisk to fluff up the flour is so much faster and tidier. I use ½ a cup not 1/3 of peel, plus I use candied citron. I make a quadruple batch of buns so when I measure out the mixed peel I measure 1 cup candied citron and 1 cup mixed peel. The raisins must be washed, it helps to plump them up when baking so that they are soft otherwise they tend to be hard. I do a mix of 1 cup golden raisins, 1 cup dark raisins, 1 cup sultanas, and 1 cup currants. I don’t like to use shortening so I substitute it with butter. We try to use honey in place of sugar. If you do use honey the oven temperature should be 25 degrees cooler or your baking will burn. The hot cross buns are baked in two large pans at our house. One pan is left unglazed and the other I glaze with the sugar/milk solution. I like the sugar for glazing. Have fun baking.