Hot Cross Buns

07/08/2012 20:01

Hot Cross Buns are a sweet, mildly spiced bun containing spices and fruits.
Traditionally, hot cross buns are eaten on Good Friday, with the cross on the buns standing for the crucifixion of Christ. At one time there were laws forbidding the sale of hot cross buns at any time other than Easter and Christmas, a law set in by Elizabeth I.


Makes 12

400g/14oz strong white flour
7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
50g/2oz caster sugar
50g/2oz butter
150g/ 5oz mixed dried fruit - Currants & candied peel
150ml/5fl oz milk, lightly warmed
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
a grate of nutmeg

For the Paste ~ 3 tbsp flour- 2tbsp milk
For the Glaze
~ 1 tbsp caster sugar mixed with 2tbsp milk

Preheat your oven to 200C/180Fan/gas 6

Sift the flour, salt and spices into a bowl and rub in the butter. Stir in the dried fruit, sugar and yeast.

In a seperate bowl, whisk the eggs into slightly warmed milk. Make a well in the centre of flour and pour in the egg and milk mixture. Beat the ingredients together to form a soft dough, adding a little more milk if the mixture is too dry.

Transfer onto a floured board and knead for 10 mimutes until smooth and elastic. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with tea towel. Leave somewhere nice and warm to rise for about 45-mins - 1 hour until the dough is double in size.

Turn out the dough mixture and knead for 2 minutes, divide into 12 and roll into balls. Place on to a lightly oiled and floured baking sheet. Re-cover with a damp tea towel and pop somewhere warm again to rise for about 35 minutes, whilst you make the mixture for the crosses.

Add the flour to a bowl and slowly beat in the milk until you have a thick paste. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe crosses on top of each bun.

Pop the buns into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes till golden and they sound hollow when tapped underneath. Remove and place on a wire rack.

For the glaze - melt the sugar and milk together and brush over the buns whilst they are still warm. Serve the buns warm with butter or enjoy sliced in half and toasted with lashings of butter...Delicious!