This small batch recipe makes just 6 hot cross buns and are baked up in a 9x5-inch loaf pan. If you'd like more, you can double the recipe by doubling all the ingredients EXCEPT the yeast. These freeze beautifully!
2 1/4tspactive dry or instant yeast
2cupsall-purpose flourmore as needed
1/2tspfine saltuse 1/4 tsp. if using salted butter
3Tbspunsalted butterat room temperature
1/4 - 1/3cupdried blueberriesor 1/3 - 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, dusted with a bit of flour
For the icing:
3Tbspbutterat room temperature
Heat your milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave until steaming with small bubbles around the edges. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
Add your yeast to 2 Tbsp. warm water (about 110° F.). Stir, then set aside to proof.
Once milk has cooled to lukewarm, add egg and stir until well combined. (*Be sure your milk has cooled sufficiently, otherwise the egg will cook in the hot milk). Add the yeast mixture. Set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the sugar and lemon zest. With hands or with paddle attachment, rub zest in to sugar. Add flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter to bowl. Still using the paddle attachment (or your hands), work the butter in to the flour until it has broken down a bit.
Switch to kneading hook with stand mixer. Add milk/egg/yeast mixer to bowl. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, adding a bit more flour if necessary. Add blueberries and knead until incorporated. Remove dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled, 60-90 minutes.
Remove dough to a floured surface and divide in to 6 equal portions. Form each portion in to a ball and place in a greased or parchment lined 9x5-inch loaf pan. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise until almost doubled and puffy - 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
When buns have risen, combine 1 egg yolk with 1 tsp. water in a small bowl. Brush tops and sides of buns well. Place in preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped or 195° F. when tested with a thermometer (*check buns at 20 minutes and loosely cover with tin foil if tops are browned enough).
For the icing: Add icing sugar, milk and softened butter to a bowl and stir to combine. Add more icing sugar (or milk) as needed to make an icing of piping consistency.