If you like a very soft bun, do use the Tangzhong method described in the recipe notes. To make this recipe ahead, let the dough rise overnight in the refrigerator. Allow about an hour for the dough to warm up a bit before shaping and baking.
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 25minutes
Total Time 2hours15minutes
1/2cup salted butter, (1 cube) cut in pieces
1/2cup granulated sugar
2pkgs.(1/4 oz each) instant or active dry yeast, or 4-1/2 tsp.
scant 4cups(510g) all-purpose flour, or up to 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour. Measure flour lightly in measuring cups if not using a scale. Too much flour will make the rolls denser.
1cupnatural or golden raisinsor combination with chopped dried apricots
Combine milk (minus 1/2 cup if using the Tangzhong method in note below), the water, butter and sugar in a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Heat to 110-115F. Butter doesn't have to fully melt. Pour into a mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl.
Stir in yeast while liquid is warm. Let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Add egg, 2 cups flour, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg to the yeast mixture. (If using Tzanghong method, add the slurry here). Beat with dough hook or wooden spoon until dough until smooth.
Gradually mix in remaining flour, mixing until very smooth, about 3 minutes with dough hook. Stir in raisins. Dough will be soft and slightly sticky.
Cover and let rise in warm place (70-75F is best) for one hour until about doubled in bulk. Or, cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. If chilled, let stand at room temp about 1 hour before proceeding. If you're short on time, I've shaped directly from the refrigerator but the dough is easier to shape if not so cold.
Punch down dough and divide into 20-22 equal pieces, about golf ball size. Or put the dough on a clean work surface and use a floured dough scraper to divide the dough. Roll into balls, tucking the raisins in as much as you can. Place on two parchment lined or well-greased baking sheets. Or in two 9-inch round lined or greased cake pans for pull-apart rolls.
Mix egg yolk with 2 teaspoons water; brush on tops of dough balls. Let rise 30-60 minutes until slightly puffy and about 40% larger.
Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Stir glaze ingredients to make a thick, smooth frosting like consistency. Scoop into a zip-top plastic sandwich bag and snip one corner. Squeeze in a cross over cooled rolls.
For a softer roll that lasts a few days longer, King Arthur Flour suggests a Japanese method that takes 1/2 cup of the milk and 3 tablespoons of the flour, then whisking together and cooking over low heat in a saucepan to make a thick slurry. The slurry is then added to the dough and mixed with all the ingredients. It is called Tangzhong technique.