Hot Cross Buns

These buns are traditionally made on Good Friday and I was bound and determined to make them this year.  They turned out well, but I may add a little more sugar next time, I like my sweets sweet.  Feel free to add or delete any dried fruit.  I've seem them made with regular raisins, however I really liked them with golden raisins and dried cherries.  

Hot Cross Buns:
click here for printable version
adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 ounce (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1.5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
5 1/2 cups flour
4 ounces dried cherries
4 ounces golden raisins
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1.)  Heat 1 cup of milk in a small pot over medium heat until it reaches 110 degrees.  Pour milk into the bowl of a mixer (fitted with a dough hook.)
2.)  With the mixer on low speed, add the sugar, yeast, butter, 1.5 teaspoons salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and eggs.
3.)  Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly in between each cup.  
4.)  Run mixer with dough hook for about 4 minutes (or knead by hand.)
5.) Add the cherries and raisins and knead to incorporate.
6.)  Spray a bowl with non-stick spray.
7.)  Shape dough into a ball and put in bowl.  
8.)  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour.
9.)  Remove dough to a floured surface and divide into 3 pieces.
10.)  Divide each piece into 10 and roll into tight balls.  
11.)  Put on a buttered (I used parchment paper instead) baking sheet, 1/2 inch apart.
12.)  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour.
13.)  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
14.)  Whisk the egg white and water together and brush on the tops of the buns.
15.)  Bake 20-22 minutes until golden brown.

16.)  Let cool for 30 minutes.
17.)  Whisk the 3 tablespoons milk, powdered sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt together.  
18.)  Use a pastry bag to pipe the icing in the shape of a cross on the tops or spoon the icing on top.