¼cupwarm water105-110 degrees F — warm but not hot
2 ¼teaspoonsinstant or active dry yeastI use instant, but either works in this recipe one package
To make bun dough
1cupwarm milkI microwave for 40 seconds on high
¼cupmelted unsalted butter(57 grams)
½cupgranulated sugar(100 grams)
3-3.5cupsall purpose flour(390-455 grams)
¼cupall purpose flour(32 grams)
¼cuppowdered sugar(31 grams)
Proof the yeast
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the warm water, yeast and sugar.
Let sit for 10 minutes or until bubbly — this is how you know your yeast is working. This step is technically not required when using instant yeast, but I do it always anyways, so that I know my buns will be a success.
Make the dough
In a large bowl, whisk together the warm milk, butter, 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, allspice and salt.
Add the bubbly yeast mixture and raisins and stir to combine.
Add the flour gradually, and mix until nearly combined before adding more. Start with 2 cups and add a little at time, stirring with a spoon or working it in with your hands until incorporated.
The closer you get to your dough being ready, the less flour you will add at once. We want a soft and slightly sticky dough, never stiff, so we need to watch and stop adding flour at just the right moment.Add up to 3.5 cups flour total.
Place dough in a large lightly greased bowl (you can use the same bowl and grease it), and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel.
Set in a warm spot (I use the oven with the light on — turn the oven on to preheat for 2 minutes before turning off and adding the dough) and let rise until doubled, about 1.5 hours.
Uncover dough, punch down, and roll out 12 rounds — smoothing the top and pinching the seam in the back to smooth (see video for additional details). I divide into quarters, then each quarter into 3 even balls.
Place in a lightly greased 9x13" baking dish, evenly spaced. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour or until puffed and doubled -- they should fill the pan.
Make the cross:
Whisk together 1/4 cup flour and just enough water so that a thick paste forms (It should be piping consistency -- too thick and it will be very hard after baking, too thin and it will run all over).
Place the mixture in a zip top sandwich bag, seal and snip the end of the corner. Use the bag to pipe lines over the buns to form crosses.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-23 minutes, until light golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely, or serve warm from the pan.
Whisk together powdered sugar, maple syrup, and milk and brush over rolls -- this is a thin glaze and there is enough to coat all rolls, but you can make it thicker and double if you like a thick layer of frosting.