An Easter tradition!!!
HOT CROSS BUNS
2/3 cup dried golden raisins
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 1/4 to 3 3/4 cups flour (I used a combination of all-purpose and bread flour)
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
Place the raisins in a small bowl, add vinegar. Cover and let stand while making dough. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, cardamom and cloves, set aside. In a saucepan heat and stir 2/3 cup milk, 1/2 cup of the mascarpone cheese, 1/3 cup sugar and salt just until warm and mascarpone almost melts. Add milk mixture to flour mixture along with eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using the lowest speed, stir in currants and as much of the remaining flour as possible.
Using a dough hook, knead for 3 to 5 minutes, kneading in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough (dough will be sticky). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover, let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour). Chill dough 6 hours.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile lightly grease 2 baking sheets, set aside. Divide dough into 24 portions. Gently shape each portion into a ball. Place balls almost touching on prepared baking sheets. Cover, let rise until nearly double (1 to 1 1/2 hours).
Heat oven to 375F. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove buns from baking sheets, cool on wire racks.
In a small bowl stir together remaining mascarpone, 1/4 cup sugar and a little milk. Place mixture into a piping bag and form a cross on top of each bun.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, April 2003