Hot Cross Buns
Serves: 12
 
  • 200 ml milk, warmed
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) firmly packed light brown sugar, plus 1 extra teaspoon for yeast mixture
  • 400 grams (2⅔ cups) strong (baker's) flour
  • 7 gram sachet dried yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 175 grams sultanas
  • 50 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour, for the crosses
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup, for the glaze
  • butter, to serve
  1. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with squares of baking paper, or use paper cupcake cases.
  2. Mix warm milk with the extra teaspoon of brown sugar, 100 grams of the strong flour and all the yeast; stir and set aside for 15 minutes until frothy.
  3. Sift the remaining strong flour, salt and the spices into a bowl. Stir in the remaining sugar and dried fruit.
  4. Add the yeast mixture, butter and eggs, and stir to combine.
  5. Place dough on a slightly floured work surface and divide into 12 pieces (each piece should weigh approximately 80 grams).
  6. Use one hand to knead edges of dough into the centre and the other to keep turning as you knead. When smooth, after about 30 seconds, turn the ball of dough over so the rounded side in on top. Rotate the dough round and round until you have a perfectly round shape. Drop into the prepared tin, then repeat with remaining dough.
  7. Lightly cover and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes until well risen.
  8. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  9. For the crosses, mix the plain flour with enough cold water to for a smooth paste. Place in a piping bag with a small nozzle and pipe crosses onto the buns.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
  11. Brush with golden syrup while still warm.
  12. Serve with chilled butter.
If you don't have a piping bag, improvise with a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off the corner, fill the corner with the flour paste, and squeeze away. Remember, the smaller the snip the finer the line.
Recipe by Villiers Brown at http://villiersbrown.com/hot-cross-buns/