Dissolve 1/4 cup sugar and 3 tablespoon. hot water over low heat.
Icing for Top of Bun (if using)
1 - 1/2 cup confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
1 tablespoon milk or cream
4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions for Icing
Combine the confectionersâ sugar and milk and mix until smooth. Place the icing in a paper cone or a small plastic bag. Cut the end of the cone or bag and pipe a 'cross' on the top of each bun for Easter buns or just frost the top ..
Making the Dough
Pour warm milk and warm water in a bowl, add 1 tsp sugar, and sprinkle yeast over. Mix to dissolve and set aside for 5 minutes or until the yeast is nice and foamy
Mix all dry ingredients, flour, orange zest, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and ginger, mix together and set aside.
Whisk eggs and add to yeast mixture along with food coloring, melted butter and vanilla.
Combine dry and wet ingredient and stir until dough comes together. Mix in raisins.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is soft and elastic, but still slightly sticky. Place in a large lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat the top; cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes
Turn dough out onto a clean surface, and divide into 28-32 evenly-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and place in a greased two 9Ã13 pan,
Cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rise for 45 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until buns are golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare glaze by combining sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Brush onto the buns as soon as they come out of the oven, and set aside to cool.
While buns are cooling, prepare the icing,
Scoop into a piping bag or by snipping off one of the bottom corners of a sandwich bag, and pipe an icing cross onto the top of each bun