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Irish Soda Hot Crossed Buns

Yields1 Serving

 2 cups all-purpose flour
 2 cups whole wheat flour
 1/4 cup brown sugar
 1 Tbsp baking powder
 1 tsp. baking soda
 1 tsp. salt
 1/4 cup butter
 2 cups buttermilk or thin plain yogurt
 1 large egg
 grated zest of an orange
 1 cup currants or other dried fruit
 milk, for brushing (optional)
 coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
1

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2

In a large bowl, measure and stir together all the dry ingredients – the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter (or pulse it in a food processor) until well blended.

3

In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk, egg and orange zest, and add it to the dry ingredients. Stir with a spatula until it’s about halfway mixed, then add the currants and stir just until combined.

4

Sprinkle the countertop with flour or oats and gently knead the dough, folding it over itself about 10 times, then either shape it into a ball (for a single Irish soda loaf) or divide it into balls about the size of a plum or small orange. Arrange about an inch apart on a rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

5

Brush the top (or tops) with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar; cut an ‘X’ lightly on the top using a sharp serrated knife. Bake for 45-55 minutes for a large loaf, 30 minutes for small buns, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.