2 large Eggs, at room temperature, slightly beaten
1/2 cup Buttermilk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
1/4 cup Water, at room temperature
1 cup Raisins
For the Cross:
2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons Water
For the Glaze:
2 tablespoons Water
2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
2 tablespoons Honey
1 teaspoon Lemon Extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
Add the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and almond extract and start to mix on low speed.
Drizzle in the water slowly with the mixer running, using just enough water to form a soft dough.
If the dough still looks dry add more water, a teaspoon at a time until it’s a soft ball.
Knead the dough with the dough hook for 5 minutes (7-8 minutes by hand) until it is soft and slightly tacky, but not sticky at all. If it’s too sticky sprinkle in a little more flour, if it is stiff then add a little more water, until you have a smooth, soft dough.
Add the raisins and knead for 1-2 more minutes until they are dispersed throughout the dough. You may have to do the last of the kneading by hand to get all of the raisins into the dough.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, turning it to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes.
Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Punch down the risen dough and remove it from the bowl to an oiled countertop.
Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces, about 3 ounces each, and roll each piece into a round ball. The easiest way is to roll the dough pieces on the counter, cupping your hand around the dough, with the edge of your hand on the counter. After 10-15 seconds of rolling it this way it will form a nice round ball with a smooth top.
Place the buns in the prepared baking dish. Cover them with plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick spray.
Allow the buns to rise until doubled, about one hour.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water for the crosses to form a paste. Spoon this paste into a ziplock bag or a piping bag.
Cut a small corner from the ziplock bag and pipe the paste into cross shapes on the tops of the buns.
Bake for 25-27 minutes until the buns are golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of one reads 190°F.
Allow the buns to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the water and the sugar to a boil.
Add the honey and lemon extract and whisk to combine and then remove from the heat. Remove the buns to a wire rack and brush with the glaze, you may not need it all.
Let the buns cool completely on the wire rack.
These hot cross buns are best the day they are baked, but can be reheated and enjoyed for a couple of days. If you want to prep them ahead, you can make them up to the point where you shape them into buns, then let them rise until they’re almost doubled (30-45 minutes), and then place them in the fridge overnight. The next day take them out of the fridge to warm up and finish rising about 90 minutes before you’re ready to bake them.