Hot cross buns are traditional during Easter but I love hot cross buns at any time of the year. This is my tried and tested recipe used year after year.
- 50 g caster sugar, plus 1 level tsp
- 1 level tbsp dried yeast
- 450 g plain flour
- 1 level tsp salt
- 1 rounded tsp mixed spice
- 75 g currants
- 50 g cut mixed peel
- 55 ml warmed milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- Pinch mixed spice
- 50 g butter, melted
For the glaze:
- 2 level tbsp granulated sugar
- Stir a teaspoon of caster sugar into 150 ml lukewarm water, then sprinkle in the dried yeast and leave it until it is frothy.
- Sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a mixing bowl and add the remaining 50 g sugar, the currants and mixed peel.
- Make a well in the centre, pour in the yeast mixture plus 40 ml of milk, the beaten egg and melted butter.
- Mix it to a dough, starting with a wooden spoon and finishing with your hands.
- Transfer the dough on to a clean surface and knead it until it feels smooth and elastic, around 5 minutes.
- Pop it back into the bowl, cover and leave it in a warm place to rise. It will take about an hour to double its size.
- Turn it out and knead it again back down to its original size.
- Divide the mixture into 12 round portions, arrange them on the greased baking sheet, and make a deep cross on each one with a sharp knife. Leave them to rise once more, for about 25 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C
- To make the crosses, form a paste with 50 g flour and 2 tablespoons water, then roll this out and cut into 5 mm strips. When the buns have risen, brush the strips with water to make them stick and place them on top of the buns along the indentations you made earlier.
- Then place the baking sheet on a high shelf in the oven and bake them for about 15 minutes.
- While they are cooking, make the glaze by slowly melting the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a pan over a gentle heat until all the sugar grains have dissolved and you have a clear syrup.
- As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush them immediately with the glaze while they are still warm.
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