Hello, Good News! Welcome to another article where we share with you some of the best recipes from around the world. Today, we are going to learn how to make Guyanese cross buns, a traditional sweet bread that is popular during the Easter season. These buns are soft, fluffy, and spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and raisins. They are also marked with a cross on top, which symbolizes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
If you are looking for a simple and tasty way to celebrate Easter, or if you just want to try something new and different, then this recipe is for you. Guyanese cross buns are easy to make and require only basic ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. They are also great for sharing with your family and friends, as they are a part of the Guyanese culture of exchanging and gifting food. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What are Guyanese Cross Buns?
Guyanese cross buns are a type of sweet bread that originated in Guyana, a country in South America that was formerly a British colony. They are similar to the hot cross buns that are common in many English-speaking countries, but they have some unique features that make them stand out.
First of all, Guyanese cross buns are made with a yeast dough that is enriched with butter, eggs, and milk. This gives them a soft and tender texture that melts in your mouth. They are also flavored with spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice, which add warmth and aroma to the buns. Some recipes also include candied orange peel or sultanas for extra sweetness and texture.
How to Make the Cross on Top of the Buns
The most distinctive feature of Guyanese cross buns is the cross on top of each bun, which represents the Christian faith and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. There are different ways to make the cross on the buns, depending on your preference and skill level.
One way is to use a knife or a pair of scissors to cut or snip a cross on the surface of each bun before baking. This creates a simple and rustic look for the buns. Another way is to make a paste with flour and water and pipe it over the buns in the shape of a cross. This creates a more defined and prominent cross that contrasts with the color of the buns. A third way is to use icing sugar and milk to make a frosting and drizzle it over the buns after baking. This creates a sweet and decorative cross that adds more flavor to the buns.
How to Serve Guyanese Cross Buns
Guyanese cross buns are best served warm or at room temperature, as they are soft and moist when fresh. You can enjoy them plain or with some butter, cheese, jam, or peanut butter. They go well with a cup of tea or coffee, or even a glass of milk.
Guyanese cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday morning, as part of the Easter celebration. However, they can also be enjoyed at any time of the year, as they are delicious and satisfying. They are also perfect for sharing with your loved ones, as they symbolize friendship and goodwill.
How to Make Guyanese Cross Buns – Step by Step Recipe
Now that you know what Guyanese cross buns are and how to serve them, let’s see how to make them from scratch. Here is a step by step recipe that will guide you through the process.
- 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon water or milk
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 (.25 ounce) package of active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Icing Cross
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Melted sugar for glazing
- Soak the yeast in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of warm milk or water for 15 minutes, or until it becomes frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar.
- In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, 1 ¼ cup of milk, and vanilla essence.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic. You can use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment to make this easier.
- If you are using raisins, add them to the dough and knead them in. You can also use other dried fruits such as currants, sultanas, or candied orange peel.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until it doubles in size.
- Punch down the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a round bun and place them on a greased baking sheet. Leave some space between them to allow them to expand.
- To make the cross on top of the buns, you can use one of the methods described above. You can either cut or snip a cross on each bun with a knife or scissors, or make a paste with flour and water and pipe it over the buns, or wait until they are baked and drizzle some icing sugar mixed with milk over them.
- Cover the buns with a damp cloth and let them rise for another 30 minutes, or until they become puffy.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
- While the buns are baking, make the glaze by boiling 1/4 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
- Brush the glaze over the hot buns as soon as they come out of the oven. This will give them a shiny and sticky appearance.
- Let the buns cool slightly on a wire rack before serving or storing them in an airtight container.
Nutritional Facts and Benefits of Guyanese Cross Buns
Guyanese cross buns are not only delicious but also nutritious. They contain several ingredients that provide health benefits and contribute to a balanced diet. Here are some of the nutritional facts and benefits of Guyanese cross buns:
Calories and Macronutrients
One Guyanese cross bun (about 85 grams) has approximately 224 calories, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fat. These values may vary depending on the exact ingredients and measurements used. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your body and brain, while protein helps build and repair your muscles and tissues. Fat also provides energy and helps absorb some vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins and Minerals
Guyanese cross buns are rich in several vitamins and minerals that support your health and well-being. Some of these include:
- Vitamin A: This vitamin is essential for your vision, immune system, skin, and mucous membranes. One Guyanese cross bun provides about 76 IU of vitamin A, which is about 2% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin is an antioxidant that protects your cells from damage caused by free radicals. It also helps your body produce collagen, which is a protein that gives structure to your skin, bones, cartilage, and blood vessels. One Guyanese cross bun provides about 0.4 mg of vitamin C, which is about 1% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
- Calcium: This mineral is important for your bone health, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. One Guyanese cross bun provides about 36 mg of calcium, which is about 4% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
- Iron: This mineral is essential for your red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body. It also helps your body make some hormones and enzymes. One Guyanese cross bun provides about 2 mg of iron, which is about 11% of the recommended daily intake for men and 6% for women.
Guyanese cross buns also contain some dietary fiber,which is a type of carbohydrate that helps your digestion, blood sugar control, cholesterol levels, and weight management. One Guyanese cross bun provides about 2 grams of dietary fiber, which is about 8% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
FAQs about Guyanese Cross Buns
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Guyanese cross buns, along with their answers:
What is the difference between Guyanese cross buns and hot cross buns?
Guyanese cross buns and hot cross buns are both types of sweet bread that are eaten during the Easter season. However, they have some differences in their ingredients, flavors, and origins. Guyanese cross buns are made with a yeast dough that is enriched with butter, eggs, and milk, while hot cross buns are made with a plain dough that is sometimes mixed with milk powder. Guyanese cross buns are also spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice, while hot cross buns are spiced with cinnamon and mixed spice. Guyanese cross buns originated in Guyana, a former British colony in South America, while hot cross buns originated in England.
How long do Guyanese cross buns last?
Guyanese cross buns can last for up to 3 days at room temperature, or up to a week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months and reheat them in the oven or microwave when you want to eat them. To keep them fresh and moist, store them in an airtight container or wrap them in plastic wrap or foil.
Can I make Guyanese cross buns without yeast?
Yes, you can make Guyanese cross buns without yeast by using baking powder or baking soda as leavening agents. However, the texture and flavor of the buns may be different from the traditional ones. To make Guyanese cross buns without yeast, you can follow this recipe.
Can I make Guyanese cross buns vegan?
Yes, you can make Guyanese cross buns vegan by substituting the animal products with plant-based alternatives. For example, you can use vegan butter or oil instead of butter, plant-based milk instead of cow’s milk, flax eggs instead of eggs, and vegan cheese or jam instead of cheese or butter. You can also omit the egg wash and use maple syrup or agave nectar for the glaze.
Can I make Guyanese cross buns gluten-free?
Yes, you can make Guyanese cross buns gluten-free by using gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid and yeast depending on the type of flour you use. You can also add some xanthan gum or psyllium husk to help the dough bind and rise better.
What can I eat with Guyanese cross buns?
Guyanese cross buns are delicious on their own, but you can also eat them with various toppings and accompaniments. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Butter: A classic and simple way to enjoy Guyanese cross buns is to spread some butter over them while they are still warm. The butter will melt into the soft bread and add richness and creaminess.
- Cheese: Another traditional way to eat Guyanese cross buns is to pair them with cheese. You can use any type of cheese you like, such as cheddar, mozzarella, cream cheese, or cottage cheese. The cheese will balance out the sweetness of the buns and add some protein and calcium.
- Jam: If you want to add more sweetness and fruitiness to your Guyanese cross buns, you can top them with some jam. You can use any flavor of jam you like, such as strawberry, raspberry, apricot, or pineapple. The jam will complement the spices and raisins in the buns and add some color and texture.
- Peanut Butter: If you want to add some nuttiness and crunchiness to your Guyanese cross buns, you can spread some peanut butter over them. You can use smooth or crunchy peanut butter, depending on your preference. The peanut butter will provide some healthy fats and protein and enhance the flavor of the buns.
- Nutella: If you want to indulge in a decadent treat, you can slather some Nutella over your Guyanese cross buns. Nutella is a chocolate-hazelnut spread that will add sweetness and richness to your buns. It will also go well with the spices and raisins in the buns and make them more irresistible.
How can I make Guyanese cross buns more healthy?
Guyanese cross buns are already quite healthy, as they contain whole grains, spices, and dried fruits. However, if you want to make them even more healthy, you can make some modifications to the recipe. For example, you can:
- Use whole wheat flour or a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour instead of only all-purpose flour. This will increase the fiber and nutrient content of the buns.
- Use brown sugar or coconut sugar instead of white sugar. This will reduce the refined sugar content and add some natural sweetness and flavor.
- Use unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana instead of some of the butter. This will lower the fat and calorie content and add some moisture and fruitiness.
- Use dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries, or apricots instead of raisins. This will add some variety and antioxidants to the buns.
- Add some nuts or seeds such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds to the dough. This will add some crunch and healthy fats and protein to the buns.
What are some variations of Guyanese cross buns?
Guyanese cross buns are versatile and adaptable, so you can experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create your own variations. Some of the possible variations are:
- Chocolate Chip Cross Buns: Add some chocolate chips to the dough or sprinkle them over the buns before baking. This will add some chocolatey goodness and make the buns more appealing to kids and adults alike.
- Lemon Cross Buns: Add some lemon zest and juice to the dough and glaze. This will add some freshness and tanginess to the buns and brighten up their flavor.
- Coconut Cross Buns: Add some shredded coconut or coconut milk to the dough and glaze. This will add some tropical flair and sweetness to the buns and make them more moist and tender.
- Ginger Cross Buns: Add some grated ginger or ground ginger to the dough and glaze. This will add some spiciness and warmth to the buns and boost their flavor and aroma.
- Carrot Cross Buns: Add some grated carrot or carrot puree to the dough. This will add some color and nutrition to the buns and make them more moist and soft.
Guyanese cross buns are a delicious and traditional sweet bread that is popular during the Easter season. They are soft, fluffy, spiced, and marked with a cross on top. They are easy to make at home with simple ingredients and can be enjoyed with various toppings and accompaniments. They are also nutritious, as they contain whole grains, spices, dried fruits, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They are also versatile, as you can make them without yeast, vegan, gluten-free, or with different variations.
We hope you enjoyed this article about Guyanese cross buns and learned how to make them from scratch. If you did, please share it with your friends and family who might also be interested in this recipe. Also, don’t forget to check out our other articles for more amazing recipes from around the world. Thank you for reading!