Hot cross buns were traditionally served on Good Friday because of the cross on top. Today, they are available in bakeries and supermarkets weeks before Good Friday because so many of us love these sweet, spicy rolls.
You can make these rolls ahead. After you have shaped the dough into buns and snipped the cross in top of each, cover with plastic wrap. You can refrigerate them from 4 hours up to 24 hours. Before baking, remove the buns from the refrigerator and remove plastic wrap. Cover with kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place about 2 hours or until double. Then brush the tops and bake as the recipe tells you above.
If your bread machine doesn't have a Raisin/Nut signal, add the raisins 5 to 10 minutes before the last kneading cycle ends. Check your bread machine's use-and-care book to find out how long the last cycle runs.
Traditionally hot cross buns contain raisins or currants. You may substitute the dark or golden raisins in this recipe with equal amounts of the more traditional currants or try chopped candied fruit.
We like to use only butter to make these rich-tasting buns.