I’m normally a long-fermentation snob, but frankly with all the spices in these little breads, it’s mighty hard to pick up the subtleties that a long rise offers. A full tablespoon of instant yeast blows this dough up in no time — foom — which means from start to glaze, you can have these done in about four hours.
1 lb. 6.5 ounces (4 1/2 cups) bread flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups warm milk
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, warm
4 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
Put flour, yeast spices and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater (paddle) attachment. Turn on low to blend. In a medium bowl combine milk, honey, eggs and whisk lightly to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of the mixer as it’s running and continue to stir until the flour mixture is completely moistened. Turn off the mixer and switch to the dough hook. Turn the mixer up to medium and add the butter and raisins. Knead 5-7 minutes until the dough comes together in a soft ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into 18 pieces (they should weigh a little over 3 ounces each). Shape the pieces into buns according to the How to Shape Buns and Rolls instructions under the bread how-to’s on the right. Place the rolls on parchment-lined sheet pans and spray lightly with cooking spray. Cover gently with greased plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, about another 45 minutes (they should be puffy, but the dough should spring back some when you poke it).
Paint the buns with egg wash and score the tops of them in a criss-cross pattern. Bake for about 15 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack. When completely cooled, drizzle on a simple icing of 2 cups powdered sugar and 1/4 water or milk in a cross shape.