Hot cross buns

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Ingredients

Traditional spiced, sticky glazed fruit buns with pastry crosses. Often served as a classic Easter treat, the buns can also be enjoyed at any time of year as teacakes (just without the crosses!).

For the buns

  • 490g strong white flour
  • 200g mixed dried fruit 
  • Zest of one large orange
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 7g easy bake yeast
  • 1.5 tsps mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 250 ml warm RSPCA Assured milk
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 RSPCA Assured egg, whisked
  • Butter for greasing
  • Flour for dusting 

For the glaze

  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 2 tbs water

For the crosses

  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 tbs water
Method
  • Put the flour, dried fruit, orange zest, caster sugar, yeast, mixed spice, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. Warm the milk until it's hand-hot, melt the butter and whisk the egg. It's important the milk is hand-hot when it's added or the yeast won’t activate. If the milk is too hot it will damage the yeast.
  • Make a well in the flour mixture and add the warm milk, melted butter and beaten egg. Bring the mixture together with a wooden spoon and use your hands to form into a large ball.
  • Lightly flour the work surface, place the ball of mixture on the floured surface and knead well for around 10 mins. The dough should be silky smooth and elastic.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl, place the kneaded dough into the bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for around 1.5 hours – the dough should nearly double in size.
  • Punch the dough in the centre of the ball then remove to a floured work surface and knead again for about 5 mins.
  • Divide into 12 parts and form into balls.  Place on a greased baking tray and cover with oiled cling film. 
  • Mix together approximately two tablespoons of plain flour and two of water. You want to make a dough that you can roll out thinly on a floured work­surface.
  • Cut strips from the rolled-out dough to form crosses on top of your buns. Moisten the base of the strips with water to affix them.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Bake the buns for 15­ to 20 mins, until golden.
  • Make a glaze by heating two tablespoons of caster sugar and two tablespoons of water over a gentle heat until sugar has dissolved.
  • Brush the buns with the glaze whilst still hot and place on a wire rack to cool.

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