Hot Cross Buns

Preparation info

  • Makes

    12

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

Bake your own hot cross buns, and a warm spicy fragrance will fill the kitchen. Those not eaten fresh are lovely toasted.

Ingredients

  • 450 g/1 lb strong plain flour
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ level teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 50 g/2 oz castor sugar
  • 25 g/1 oz fresh yeast or 1 level tablespoon dried yeast and 1 level teaspoon castor sugar
  • a scant 3 dl/½ pint warm mixed milk and water
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g/2 oz melted butter
  • 100 g/4 oz currants
  • 50 g/2 oz chopped mixed peel

    Method

    Sift the flour, salt, spices and sugar into a warm mixing basin. Stir the fresh yeast into the warmed mixed milk and water. If using dried yeast, stir the teaspoon of sugar into the hand-hot mixed milk and water. Sprinkle in the dried yeast and leave for about 10 minutes until frothy.

    Stir the yeast liquid, egg, melted butter, currants and peel into the centre of the dry ingredients. Mix to a soft dough, turn out on to an unfloured surface and knead well until the dough is smooth. Shape into a round and replace in the basin. Set inside a polythene bag and leave in a warm place until double the size.

    Turn out the risen dough, flatten with the knuckles and knead again lightly. Divide into twelve equal portions and shape into buns. Place on greased baking trays, cover and leave in a warm place until the buns look puffy.

    To make the crosses, either slash the buns with a knife or use a smooth paste made by mixing flour with water. Spoon the flour paste into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake in the centre of a hot oven (220°C., 425°F., Gas Mark 7) for 15–20 minutes. When baking time is almost complete combine the ingredients for the glaze in a saucepan. Stir over the heat until just boiling. Brush over the hot buns to make them shiny. Serve warm with butter.