Easy hot cross buns

15 April 2019 | Supplements

The origins of hot cross buns may go back as far as the 12th century.

An Anglican monk reportedly baked the buns and marked them with a cross in honour of Good Friday. Over time they gained popularity and eventually became a symbol of Easter weekend.

Ingredients

Buns

500 g strong white bread flour

½ tsp salt

2 heaped tsp mixed spice

50 g castor sugar

50 g butter , sliced in cubes

200 g mixed dried fruit

7 g sachet easy-blend dried

yeast 200 ml

milk 2

eggs

Crosses and glaze

3 tbsp plain flour

Honey or golden syrup, for brushing

Method

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. Slowly warm the milk to 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.

Using a blunt knife, 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 doubled in size. This will take 45 mins to 1 hr 15 mins, depending on how warm the room is.

When the buns have risen, heat the 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 stay fresh for a day. After that they are best toasted and served with butter.

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