Hot Cross Buns


Traditionally in Britain, bread baked on Good Friday was marked with a cross, in token of the Crucifixion.

To make 12 of these delicious spiced buns you will need 1 tablespoon dried yeast and 1 teaspoon caster sugar, 225 ml (7/4 fl oz) warm milk, 500 g (1 lb) strong white flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 50 g (2 oz) butter, 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar, 3 teaspoons ground mixed spice, 125 g (4 oz) currants, 1 lightly beaten egg and some golden syrup or clear honey for glazing.

  1. Combine the yeast, sugar, milk and 125 g (4 oz) of the flour. Leave in a warm place for 15 minutes until frothy. Sift remaining flour and salt and rub in butter. Stir in caster sugar, spice and currants. Add yeast liquid and egg and mix.

  2. Knead until smooth. Return to bowl, cover and leave until dough doubles in size. Knead for 2—3 minutes, then divide into 12 pieces and shape into balls. Put on a greased baking sheet, cover and leave until doubled in size.

  3. Using the back of a knife, make 2 indentations on each bun to form a cross. Bake at 190°C, 315°F, Gas Mark 5 for 15-20 minutes until golden. Brush a little warmed golden syrup over each bun. Cool on a wire rack.