April: Hot Cross Buns

posted 30 Mar 2011, 00:54 by Unknown user   [ updated 30 Mar 2011, 01:00 ]
Thanks to Pat Breakwell for providing this receipe
Easy-blend yeast is not suitable for this recipe. Use dried, and make sure that it is well in date.
Makes about 12 buns

2oz(50g) caster sugar, plus 1 teaspoon   
5fl oz (150ml) hand hot water    
1 level tbsp dried yeast
1lb (450g) plain flour
1 level teaspoon salt
1 rounded teaspoon ground mixed spice
3oz (75g) currants
2oz (50g) cut mixed peel
1½-2fl oz(40-55ml) warmed milk
1 egg, beaten
2oz (50g) melted butter

2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp water

You will also need a greased baking sheet

First stir the teaspoon of caster sugar into the hand-hot water, then sprinkle in the dried yeast and leave it until a good frothy “beer” head forms.

Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a mixing bowl and add the remaining 2oz (50g) of sugar, the currants and mixed peel.  Then make a well in the centre, pour in the yeast mixture plus 1½fl oz (40ml) of milk (again hand-hot), the beaten egg and the melted butter.  Now mix it into a dough, starting with a wooden spoon and finishing with your hands (add a spot more milk if it needs it).

Transfer the dough onto a clean surface and knead it until it feels smooth and elastic – about 6 minutes.  Now put it back into the bowl, cover the bowl with a lightly oiled plastic bag and leave it in a warm place to rise.  It will take about an hour to double its size.  Then turn it out and knead it again, back down to its original size.

Divide the mixture into 12 round portions, arrange them on the greased baking sheet, allowing plenty of room for expansion.  Make a deep cross on each one with a sharp knife.  Leave them to rise once again, covering again with the oiled polythene bag for about 25 minutes.   Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7.

Bake the buns for about 15 minutes.  Then, while they’re cooking, melt the sugar and water over a gentle heat and brush the buns with it as soon as they come out of the oven to make then nice and sticky.