hot cross buns
These are one of the best bits of Easter. Give me a hot crossie over a chocolate egg any day!
4 cups (600g) plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
60g butter, softened, plus extra to serve
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
1/2 cup (80g) sultanas or currants
1 cup (250ml) lukewarm milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white, beaten until frothy, for brushing
1/3 cup (50g) self-raising flour
2 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon gelatine
- Makes 14
Sift flour, spice and salt in a bowl. Rub in butter, until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and yeast.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture. Stir in ½ cup warm water, milk and egg, gradually incorporating surrounding flour to mix to a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly knead in the sultanas or currants. Shape into a ball and place in a clean, greased bowl. Turn over once so that top of dough is greased.
Cover bowl completely with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours until doubled in bulk.
Lightly grease a baking tray, two 20cm cake pans or a larger round cake pan. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat out to 3cm thickness. Cut into 14 pieces and gently shape each into a ball, always keeping the tops uppermost as you shape to keep them nice and smooth. Place buns on prepared tray or cake pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180C. Brush buns with egg white. Combine self-raising flour and ¼ cup water in a small bowl until smooth. Spoon into a snap lock bag, snip end and pipe crosses onto buns.
Bake buns for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Meanwhile stir together water, sugar and gelatine until sugar has dissolved. Brush hot buns with glaze and stand buns near open and turned-off oven, until glaze is dry. Serve warm or toasted with butter.
Tip: It may be necessary to cover buns with brown paper if crosses are browning too quickly. When cooked, remove from oven and brush with the glaze.
Tip: You can add ¼ cup of chopped mixed peel if you like.