With this basic dough, you can make Hot Cross Buns, Cinnamon Rolls, or Glazed Orange Rolls.
About 4 cups regular all-purpose flour 1/2 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk, scalded
1 package yeast, active dry or compressed 1/4 cup warm water (lukewarm for compressed yeast)
1 egg, slightly beaten
Sift the flour and set aside. Place the butter, salt, and sugar in a large bowl; add the scalded milk and allow to cool to lukewarm, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt and to melt the butter. Soften the yeast in the warm water and add, along with the beaten egg, to the cooled milk mixture.
Stir in 3 1/2 cups of the flour, 1 cup at a time, beating vigorously to blend. Scrape dough from the sides of the bowl and brush the top of the dough and the sides of the bowl with softened butter.
Cover dough and let rise in a warm place (80°) about 2 hours, or until almost doubled in bulk. Then turn out on a well-floured board and knead lightly, adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky (do not use more than 1/2 to 1/2 cup flour on the board). Suggestions follow for shaping and baking.
Hot Cross Buns. When you prepare the basic dough, incorporate with the flour 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 cup dried fruits (currants, chopped candied orange peel, or chopped mixed candied fruits). Follow rest of basic recipe.
Shape risen dough into 2 dozen round buns. Place apart on greased baking sheets, cover, and let rise in a warm place (80°) until almost double in size. Slash the tops of each with a sharp knife to make a cross. Bake in a 425° oven about 10 to 14 minutes.
While still warm, fill in the crosses with a frosting made by blending 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and about 2 teaspoons milk (enough to make a creamy icing). Makes 2 dozen.
Inside-Out Cinnamon Rolls. Roll out 1 recipe of the basic dough to a rectangle 10 by 24 inches and *4-inch thick; spread with softened butter (about 3 tablespoons). Sprinkle with 1/2 cup brown sugar and about 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Cut into strips about 10 inches long and 1 inch wide, and roll each separately into a snail shape, with the sugar side out.
Place rolls 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle tops with the excess sugar that fell off the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place (80°) until almost doubled in bulk.
Bake in 350° oven for about 20 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen.
Glazed Orange Rolls. Prepare a filling by creaming together 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) softened butter, 1 cup sugar, and the grated peel of 2 medium-sized oranges.
Roll out one recipe of the basic sweet dough to a rectangle 10 by 24 inches and 1/2-inch thick; spread the filling evenly over the dough. Roll dough up as for a jelly roll (roll 24-inch side) and chill. Cut the chilled dough into 1-inch-thick slices, and place in buttered muffin pans or 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets.
Cover and let rise in a warm place (80°) until almost doubled in bulk. Bake in a 425° oven about 10 to 14 minutes. Serve warm “as is” or topped with the following glaze. Makes 2 dozen.
Orange glaze: Simmer together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water for about 10 minutes; add the grated peel of 1 orange. Cool syrup slightly before glazing.