Hot Cross Buns
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
4 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup currants
1 egg white
1 tsp. cold water
Frosting (see recipe below)
Scald milk in a small saucepan, add salt sugar and shortening; cool to lukewarm.
Sprinkle yeast on top of the warm water; stir to dissolve. Add eggs, yeast mixture, 1 cup flour and cinnamon to milk mixture; beat with electric mixer at medium speed about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Stir in currants and enough remaining flour, a little at a time, to make a soft dough that is easy to handle. Beat well. Place in lightly greased bowl and turn dough over to grease top as well. Cover and let rise until just about doubled. This will take about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough. Turn onto lightly floured board.
Roll or pat to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut in rounds with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter or bottom of a glass. Pat the shapes to a bun like shape. Place about 1 1/2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Allow to rise until almost doubled for about 1 hour.
With a very sharp knife (serrated works well) cut a cross into the surface of each bun. Brush tops with unbeaten egg white mixed with cold water. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on racks for about 5 minutes. With a tip of a butter knife or a small spoon, fill in crosses with white frosting. Makes about 18 buns.
Frosting: 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
1-2 tablespoon milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Combine all ingredients and mix well until smooth.