hot cross bun loaf

It feels like a lifetime since I wrote here - and nothing like a good seasonal baking event. Last year I made hot cross buns and I never like to make the same thing twice. I wasn't sure how many ways you could mix up "hot cross buns" but I do know that you can turn it into a loaf. Williams-Sonoma published a recipe and it only took me five years to stumble across it.

Honestly, only the title makes this recipe feel seasonal... everything else makes it rather idea for a year-round morning snack. Despite accidentally cooking it at 400F - instead of 350F, the loaf turned out great. You'd think that it would have been totally torched but honestly it was rather perfect. I'd still tell you to use 350, but the outside was nice and crusty and the inside was just the right amount of squishy and cinnamon sugary. I think you could also make it a little tastier with some chocolate chips or nuts - but that really is a bit alternation from the traditional hot cross bun recipe. 
Rave reviews all around for this gem - and I'll absolutely make it another time. It's one of those recipes where you wish you have more of it than you actually do. I'll probably 1.5x it next time to get three loaves because I just don't want to share anymore than I need to. Here's how it goes...
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine melted butter, room temperature milk, and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Add to the yeast mixture along with the eggs, currants, and orange zest. Combine all the ingredients using the dough hook and knead the dough on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. Scrape the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 1 1⁄2 hours.
  3. FILLING// In a bowl, stir together the softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  4. Grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Dump the dough onto a floured work surface. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into an 8 1⁄2-inch square. 
  5. Smear each rolled out dough with half of the filling. Roll up the dough and place seam side down in a prepared pan. Let rise again for about 45 minutes. Brush down the loaves with the egg white. 
  6. Preheat to 350°F. Brush the loaves with the egg wash. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the pan sides, about 35 minutes. Turn out onto racks and let cool completely.
Shopping List
4 Tbs. butter
1 cup whole milk
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
3⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄8 tsp. ground allspice
1⁄8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup dried currants
1 Tbs. finely grated orange zest

For the filling:4 Tbs. butter, softened
2⁄3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1 egg white, beaten with a little warm water

For the glaze:1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. whole milk

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