Hot Cross Buns
- 625g strong white flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- 45g cubed, unsalted butter plus extra for greasing
- 85g sugar
- 1 lemon zest
- 1.5 tsp fast action yeast
- 1 egg
- 275ml tepid milk
- 125g mixed fruit
- For the topping
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1 tbsp golden syrup, gently heated for glazing
- Sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a bowl and rub in the butter. Form a well in the centre then add the sugar, lemon zest and yeast. Beat the egg and add to the flour with the tepid milk. Mix to form a soft, pliable dough.
- Turn dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and work in the fruit. Knead lightly for 5 mins or until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in a greased, warm bowl. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place to prove for one hour.
- Turn out the proved dough on to a lightly floured surface and knock back. Shape into a ball again. Return it to the bowl and re-cover and set aside for a further 30 mins to rise.
- Turn out the risen dough on to floured surface. Divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball then flatten slightly into a bun shape. Cover the buns with a tea towel and rest them for 5 to 10 mins.
- Grease a baking tray with butter. Transfer the rested buns to the tray and wrap loosely with greaseproof paper then place inside a large polythene bag. Tie the end of the bag lightly so that no air can get in and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 mins to let the buns rise.
- Preheat oven to 240C/475F/Gas 8.
- For the topping, mix the flour to a smooth paste with the water. Spoon into a piping bag and when the buns have risen, pipe a cross on each.
- Bake the buns for 8 to 10 mins or until a pale, golden brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot golden syrup then set aside to cool on a wire rack.