Hot Cross Buns are slightly sweet, spiced with cinnamon, and perfectly puffy. They became an Easter tradition to celebrate Good Friday.
In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup very warm milk with 1 tablespoon of sugar, stir and after that sprinkle yeast on top. Stir and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. The mixture should almost double and size and look bubbly.
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1/2 cup of very warm milk, remaining sugar, softened butter, eggs, and salt. Whisk until well combined. Add the yeast mixture and whisk to combine.
Add vanilla extract, stir to combine.
Using a mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix in cinnamon and the flour 1 cup at a time into the yeast mixture until a soft dough forms.