New England Hot Cross Buns for this Easter morning!

Adapted from one of Gesine's photos. Please don't sue me!

Thank you Gesine for this wonderful inspiration for a sweet Traditional Easter recipe. 
Maple.  Cranberry.  That's what makes for the New England in the bun!

Traditional? Not until I started this Easter tradition with my own family. So, I guess that would mean , yes, this IS a “Traditional Irish Family” recipe!!

Ingredients

1 pound bread flour [I confess I used unbleached All-purpose]
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
generous pinch of ground cloves
1/2 ounce  dry (not instant- *I wonder why not?*) yeast (2 packets)
1 cup milk, warm
pinch sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup dried cranberries

Egg wash:  1 egg and 2 tablespoons water, beaten together

mix 1/4 cup coarse sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon for sprinkling

Icing for the cross:  1/2 cup confectioner's sugar blended with 1 TB milk and 1 TB melted butter.

Directions
Preheat oven to 400º

-Combine yeast, warm milk and pinch sugar.  Stir and allow to “bloom” a.k.a. sit and fester --for about 10 minutes
-In the bowl of an electric mixer [**I don’t have an electric mixer so I did all of this by hand in a large mixing bowl and it wasn’t so hard**— DON”T FEAR ‘BY HAND’], whisk together the sugar, maple syrup, the vanilla extract, zest and the egg.  Add the bloomed yeast.
-Add the dry ingredients, the flour, salt and spices and mix with the dough hook just combined **I used a wooden spoon**. Add the softened butter in small pieces until completely incorporated.
-Continue to mix until the gluten develops and the dough is shiny and comes away from the bowl cleanly.
-Add the cranberries and mix until they are well incorporated and evenly distributed.
-Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Spray the top of the dough as well.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or moist kitchen towel and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
-Divide the dough into 15 even pieces.
-Roll each ball into a tight ball.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cut a cross into each ball of dough.
-Allow to rise, covered loosely with a piece of plastic wrap / or towel , until the buns have not quite doubled in size [about 45 minutes?]
-Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture
-Bake at 400º for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.
-Allow to cool slightly and then drizzle or pipe icing inside the cross.



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