Hot cross buns – to buy or bake? That is the question.
There are plenty of good hot cross buns on the market but there’s something very satisfying about making your own and enjoying that sweet, spicy smell as they bake.
Using brown muscovado sugar gives them a lovely toffee flavour.
Hot cross buns
- 1 lb 500g white bread flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 heaped teaspoons mixed spice
- 2 oz 50g muscovado sugar (gives a lovely toffee flavour)
- 2 oz 50g butter (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons of “easy bake” dried yeast
- 6 fl oz 175ml warm milk (might need a little more)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence to taste
- 1 large egg
- 4 oz 100g mixed fruit and peel to suit your taste
- For the “crosses” on the top
- 3 tablespoons plain flour
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon oil
- To glaze
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- Put the flour, spices, fruit and dried yeast into a mixing bowl.
- Put the butter, sugar, vanilla essence and salt into a jug and pour in the warm milk.
- Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients; add the whisked egg and mix together to make a soft dough.
- Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic.
- Place in a bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until it’s doubled in size (about an hour).
- Turn out and knead again for a few minutes, divide and shape into buns, place on a baking tray. Cover and leave to rise again (about 30 minutes).
- Mix the flour, oil and milk into a smooth paste and put into a piping bag with a small nozzle.
- Pipe a cross on each bun.
- Bake for about 20 minutes in a moderate oven (200 degrees/gas mark 6) until golden brown.
- Bring the milk and sugar to the boil in a small pan and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring.
- Brush the buns with this glaze and allow to cool slightly, but best served and eaten warm.