Hot cross buns

Makes 6 buns

These scrumptious traditional spiced, sticky glazed fruit buns with pastry crosses are a classic Easter treat and will be sure to delight the family.

  • 250g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 7g salt
  • 10g fast-action dried yeast
  • 20g butter
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
  • 100g sultanas
  • 25g finely chopped mixed candied peel
  • oil, for greasing
  • 40g plain flour for the topping
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup for glazing
  • Put the flour, sugar and spices into a large bowl and mix with your hand.
  • Add the salt and yeast, placing them on opposite sides of the bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a pan and warm the milk in a separate pan. Add the butter and half the tepid milk to the dry ingredients. Add the egg and use your hands to bring the mixture together, incorporating the flour from the edges of the bowl as you go. Gradually add the remaining milk, to form a soft pliable dough (you may not need all of the milk).
  • Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand incorporating the sultanas and mixed peel into the dough. Lightly knead for 10 minutes until silky and elastic and forming a smooth ball. The kneading can also be done in a food mixer with a dough hook.
  • Oil a bowl and place the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest in a warm place for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
  • Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and divide into 6 balls. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the balls on the tray, spacing them fairly close together and flattening them slightly.
  • Cover the buns with a damp tea towel or clingfilm. Leave for 40-60 minutes until they have doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 220˚C.
  • For the topping, mix the flour into a thin paste with 50ml water. Spoon into a piping bag.
  • When the buns have risen remove the tea towel and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden-brown, turning the baking tray round halfway through if necessary.
  • Melt the golden syrup in a pan and, while the buns are still warm, brush with a little syrup. Cool on a wire rack.

'Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns,

One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns,

If your daughters don't like them,

Give them to your sons,

One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns.'

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