A great fasting-friendly recipe to allow the Orthodox to participate in the Western tradition of Hot Cross Buns:
1 package yeast (or 2 1/4 tsps)
1 cup soy milk
2 tbls vegetable oil
1/4 c sugar
2 tbls applesauce
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 c currants (I like a mixture of raisins and dried cranberries)
2 tbls finely chopped candied lemon peel (or orange). This can be omitted but it is SO good.
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 1/3- 3 2/3 c all purpose flour
Mix yeast with 2 tbls warm water (approx 105-115 degrees). Let sit for 5 minutes or so till yeast has dissolved.
Meanwhile, warm the milk to about 105-115 degrees. Stir in vegetable oil, sugar, applesauce, salt, currants, lemon peel, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cool to lukewarm and add to yeast mixture.
Add part of the flour and stir it in. Then knead in by hand the rest, only adding enough to handle the dough easily.
Place in an oiled bowl. Brush top of dough with vegetable oil. Cover and let sit in a warm place until double.
Punch the dough down and divide into 18 pieces, shaping them into balls. Place about 1 1/2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until almost double.
Heat in oven at 425 degrees about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool.
Decorate with a glaze of powdered sugar and lemon or orange juice into the shape of a cross.