Hot cross buns
- Makes: 9
- Cooking Time: 200 mins
- Course: Dessert
- Cuisine: Irish
- For the sweet dough
- 250ml milk
- 1 x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
- 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- Half tsp cinnamon (or nutmeg)
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 50g butter, diced
- 150g dried mixed fruit
- Zest of 1 orange (or lemon)
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- For the topping
- 40g plain flour
- cold water, enough to make a paste
- 30ml Golden Syrup
1. First, warm the milk and add the dried yeast to it. Allow it to foam for five minutes.
2. Place the flour, spices, sugar, salt and diced butter in a large bowl. Rub the ingredients together with your fingertips to incorporate the butter to fine breadcrumbs.
3. Make a well in the centre and add the yeasted milk to the dry mixture. Mix until evenly dispersed.
4. Transfer the dough into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the mixed fruit, lemon zest and egg. Mix for eight minutes, until the dough is soft and elastic (alternatively, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes, adding a little extra flour at the beginning if the dough is too moist to handle).
5. Bring the dough together into a ball. Place it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with cling film. Leave the dough in a warm place (free from draughts) for approximately one hour, until well risen.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size, divide the dough into nine equal-sized balls, rolling each one to shape it into a ball. Arrange the buns on a baking sheet lightly dusted with flour (or lined with parchment paper). Cover with a clean damp tea towel and once again leave in a warm place to prove for 45 minutes.
7. While the dough is proving, preheat an oven to 220 degrees Celsius, or equivalent.
8. Once the buns have risen sufficiently, make the topping. Combine the flour and just enough water to form a thick paste and spoon this paste into a small plastic food bag. Remove the tea towel from the buns. Snip the corner off the bag and pipe a white cross over the top of each bun.
9. Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until golden brown in colour and hollow sounding when tapped on the base.
10. While they are still warm, warm the Golden Syrup and use it to baste the surface of each bun. Transfer the buns to a wire rack to cool.