Hot Cross Buns, a traditional Easter favourite.
For the buns
500g strong white bread flour
½ tsp salt
2 heaped tsp mixed spice
50g caster sugar
50g butter (chopped into cubes)
200g mixed dried fruit
7g dried yeast
For the crosses & glaze
3 tbsp plain flour
Honey or golden syrup (for brushing)
Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the salt, mixed spice and sugar.
Rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the dried fruit, then sprinkle over the yeast and stir in.
Gently warm the milk so it is hot, but still cool enough to put your finger in for a couple of seconds.
Beat with the eggs, then pour into the dried ingredients.
Mix the ingredients to a moist dough, then leave to soak for 5 mins. Take out of the bowl and cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.
Shape the dough into buns on a floured surface. Space apart on a baking sheet, cover loosely with cling film, then leave in a warm place until half again in size. This will take 45 mins-1 hr 15 mins, depending on how warm the room is.
When the buns have risen, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Mix the flour with 2 tbsp water to make a paste. Pour into a plastic food bag and make a nick in one of the corners. Pipe crosses on top of each bun.
Bake for 12-15 mins until risen and golden.
Trim the excess cross mixture from the buns, then brush all over with honey or golden syrup.
The buns will keep fresh for a day. After that, they are best toasted and served with butter. Enjoy!