HOT CROSS BUNS
250 ml milk (9 oz)
50 g butter (2 oz)
500 g strong bread flour (18 oz)
1 tsp salt
75 g caster sugar (3 oz)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice *
1 TBSP oil
7g sachet fast-action yeast
1 egg, beaten
75 g currants (3 oz)
50 g mixed peel (2 oz) (or sultanas) **
Zest 1 orange
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
For the cross
40 g plain flour (1 ½ oz)
10 g soft butter (3/4 oz)
For the glaze
¼ c apricot jam
Bring milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add butter. Leave to cool until hand temperature.
In food processor: flour, salt, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and mixed spice. Add warm milk mixture and egg.
Process 5 minutes+ until smooth. Turn onto floured surface, and knead until in one smooth and elastic piece. *** Put into lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling wrap. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr.
With dough still in the bowl, tip in currants, peel or sultanas, lemon zest and apple. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr, again covered with oiled cling wrap.
Divide the dough into 15 pieces. Roll each piece into smooth ball on a lightly floured surface. Arrange on several baking trays covered with parchment paper, leaving a lot of space for the rolls to expand. Cover with oiled cling wrap and leave to rise for 1 hr.
Heat oven to 425*.
Put cross flour into a bowl and rub in the butter. Add just enough cold water to form a dough and them roll out thinly, and cut into 30 strips. Brush the strips with water to make them stick, and then place on each bun. Bake for 15 – 20 mins.
Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. Brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.
NOTES . . .
* If you can't find Mixed Spice in the US see the recipe to make your own.
** If you don't like Mixed Peel, or can't find it in the US, I have found sultanas (golden raisins) a good substitute
*** You may make this in a food processor, or you may mix and knead it by hand. The food processor is much easier, but it means you lose a little bit of the sticky dough when turning it out onto a floured surface. I found it easier to handle if you coat your hands in oil.