Combine boiling water, honey, butter, and salt in a large bowl and cool.
Once the first mixture is cooled, add the eggs and 1 cup of flour. Stir well. Add the yeast mixture to this bowl, and stir till combined. Drain the raisins with a sieve. Add 4 of the remaining cups of flour, the drained raisins and the spices: stir until you can’t stir with a spoon (will get too difficult), adding more flour as needed.
Put the dough on a well-floured surface (counter) and using your hands, knead the dough for about 10 minutes. You will need to add more flour as you knead the dough to keep it from sticking to your hands and the counter. The dough will look smooth and ‘elastic’ when it is ready.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a large baking sheet with oil, margarine or butter and line with parchment paper. You will need to grease an additional small 9" round pan or a loaf pan if you are making small buns. Divide the dough into about 2/3 cup size pieces (a small handful), and shape into buns (balls) with your hands. Space the buns evenly in a grid on the pan about ½” apart: you should get approximately 24 buns in a large baking sheet (4 buns down x 6 buns across the pan). Cover the pan with a towel and let rise until doubled.
In a small bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together to form a thicker batter. Start with the 1/4 cup of water and add more until you have a batter that is the consistency of a thick pancake batter. It will need to hold its shape when piped but still be able to flow out of the piping bag.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip and pipe a cross, starting at one end of a row of buns and running along the centre of the entire row until you get to the end of the buns. Repeat on each row running length-ways, and do the same through the middle of the buns running the opposite direction to form a cross along the buns.
Bake for 15 minutes or until they are starting to turn golden brown.
Whisk together the egg and water in a small bowl and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash with a pastry brush and return to the oven.
Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.