COMBINE flour, sugar, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, salt, yeast and lemon zest in a large bowl of a stand mixer.
ADD 2 eggs to milk and BEAT until mixed well. ADD milk/egg mixture and butter to flour bowl. Using stand mixer’s hook attachment, MIX until dough is sticky; about 2 minutes, scraping flour from sides of bowl into dough. COVER bowl with plastic wrap and let REST in warm area of your kitchen for 30 minutes.
ADD raisins and MIX again with stand mixer’s hook attachment. COVER bowl with plastic wrap and let REST in a warm area of your kitchen for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
LINE a large baking tray with parchment paper. DIVIDE dough into 12 balls (about 100 grams each). ARRANGE on baking sheet about ½-inch apart. COVER with plastic wrap loosely and let REST 45 minutes or until the buns double in size.
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
MIX together 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl to make paste. ADD to piping bag or plastic bag with tip cut off. PIPE a cross on each bun.
BEAT one egg in a small dish. BRUSH a small amount on top of each bun.
BAKE for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. REMOVE.
HEAT sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. BRING to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. SIMMER for 3 minutes then REMOVE from heat and BRUSH a small amount on top of each bun.
For a citrusy update on the traditional recipe:
– Add 2 Tbsp. of lemon or orange zest to dough during step one.
– Make an icing with 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 3 Tbsp. of milk and 1 Tbsp. of lemon or orange juice and pipe on top of the cross.