I know this is too late for all of you to get ambitious and make Hot Cross Buns for Easter this year (unless you celebrate the Orthodox holiday, of course), so consider this your year in advance drool warning for next year. I promise, I'll repost these before the fact next year; my computer will till be under warranty, so there won't be any reason to not do so!
I've found through the years that regardless of how many Hot Cross Buns you plan to make, the best way to do it is to make one batch the size of this recipe at a time; that way, the next batch is mixing while you form your cute little dough balls. I made 4 batches: 1 on Friday, and 3 on Saturday, one of which was baked Sunday morning.
HOT CROSS BUNS
1 cup warm milk (around 100F)
2-1/2 tsp yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup melted butter
5 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
Put the milk in the bread machine mixing container, or in a mixing bowl, and sprinkle the yeast over it. Add the other ingredients in the order given, reserving the raisins until after all of the ingredients are well combined, and the dough is forming a nice, stiff ball. Turn the bread machine on to mix only for 15 minutes, or mix in the Kitchenaid stand mixer (stirring the ingredients together by hand will be hard, since this is stiff dough). 5 minutes before the mixing is done, pour in the raisins. Let the dough stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then divide into 16 pieces. Form each one into a ball, and let rise until nearly doubled in size. Brush with 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tbsp water, and let the dough rise a few minutes longer. Bake at 400F for 22 to 25 minutes, until the desired degree of brown is reached.
For my Easter morning Hot Cross Buns, I made the dough using cold milk, formed the buns, and put the baking sheets into the refrigerator on Saturday night. It took a while for them to finish rising on the counter in the morning, so they could probably be laid on the counter, with a towel over them, on the way to church. 25 minutes after your arrival home, you will be blissfully enjoying these marvelous, not too sweet treats!
Note that for the frosting to stay in the form of a cross, the buns have to cool. Otherwise, they look like this. They still taste great.
Of course, since the kids had to leave early, I wrapped some of the Hot Cross Buns I made Saturday, so they could pick at them on the way back, and after they had returned to college.