Hot Cross Buns

Makes 18-22 buns

These buns were traditionally baked on Good Friday and eaten at Easter.

 

  • 2 cups of bread flour

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or mix of spices

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1/4 cup of dried currants

  • 3 tablespoons of dried yeast

  • 1/4 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 - 1 1/4 cup of milk

  • 1 egg

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

 

  1. Sift the flour salt and spices together in a large mixing bowl, and then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

  2. Stir in the currants.

  3. Warm approximately a third of the milk, then mix it with the yeast and the 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, whisking until it is well incorporated and no lumps remain.

  4. Make a well in the flour mixture, then pour the yeast into it before covering the yeast mixture lightly with some flour from the bowl. Leave it for 10 minutes.

  5. Mix in the egg and as much milk as needed to make a stiff, cohesive dough.

  6. Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface, then pat into a ball before setting it into a large bowl and covering it. Leave it for about an hour to rise (until doubled in size).

  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  8. Split the dough into balls approximately 3 inches in diameter, then cut a deep cross with a serrated knife across the top of each before leaving to rise for another half hour.

  9. Make a paste out of the flour and a little water, then pipe into the crosses cut on each bun.

  10. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, then brush a mixture of the 2 tablespoons sugar and a little milk over the buns while they're still hot.

 

For a slight variation, omit icing the buns before baking them, then after the buns have baked and cooled mix together some powdered sugar and milk to ice crosses on the tops.

 

*This recipe can be halved, divided or multiplied to suit the occasion.

 

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