Makes 16 buns
For the buns:
- 20 g fresh yeast
- 1 tbsp. whole milk
- 1 tsp. caster sugar
- 400 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. mixed spice
- 1 large egg
- 200 ml whole milk
For the crossing paste (used for piping pre-bake):
- 200 g plain flour
- 230 g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 tbsp. tbsp milk
For the glaze (used for post bake):
- 50 g caster sugar
- 200 ml boiling water
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- In a large mixing bowl; mix the yeast, the 1tbsp whole milk and a teaspoon of caster sugar Make sure the yeast has dissolved completely
- In a separate bowl, sieve the flour with the salt and spices. Then add the spiced flour to the yeast mixture
- Keep adding the rest of the milk, the rest of the caster sugar and an egg
- Begin to bind the mixture together using your hands, for 4-5 minutes until it forms a rough dough, and then add the butter a chunk at a time whilst kneading the dough
- After adding all the butter slowly, it should take around 2-3 minutes you will have a nice sticky dough
- Continue kneading for 5 minutes more until you get a smooth, shiny dough
- Add the mixed fruit and continue kneading for until the fruits have evenly dispersed throughout the dough
- Make the dough piece into a large ball and place into a bowl
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave at room temperature (approx. 20°C) for 1.5 hours, until it grows to almost double in size
- Pour your dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 16 pieces (approx. 60g each)
- Roll the dough pieces into shape by rolling them on a surface against your palms to create smooth buns
- Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with a baking paper all the buns onto one tray and make sure you keep an even 1-inch gap between them
- Cover the tray with a clean tea towel and leave to rise at room temperature until almost double in size
Meanwhile, make the crossing paste:
- Whilst the buns are proving, make the crossing paste. Using a hand whisk, gently combine all the cross topping ingredients into a smooth paste. Fill a plastic piping bag with the topping mixture and store in the fridge until required.
- When the buns are ready the sides of each bun should be touching
- Pre heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
- Make an egg wash by whisking 1 whole egg and a tablespoon of milk
- Brush the buns carefully with this egg wash and leave to dry for 10 minutes. Brush again if required.
- Remove the crossing paste from the fridge, warm the mixture in the piping bag, by messaging with your hands. Cut a small hole using scissors approx. 5mm in width (always cut a smaller hole than you think you might need as you can cut it again to make a bigger hole but you can’t make it smaller)
- Pipe straight thin crosses on top of the buns on the tray and pop it into the hot oven
- Immediately, reduce the oven temp to 180°C/gas mark 4 until thoroughly baked and golden approx 20-22 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze:
- 5 mins before the buns are baked, boil the kettle to make the glaze. Once boiled add the glaze ingredients stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved the glaze is ready to be brushed onto the top of the baked buns. If you like a strong spice flavour you can add more spice to your glaze.
- Once the buns are ready, take them out of the oven and carefully brush them with the glaze, this is best done when the buns are piping hot. You can repeat this step ensuring you have glazed all the buns (do not soak the buns when brushing, brush liberally).
- Leave to cool for 15 minutes before serving
- The Hot Cross Buns should be well wrapped and will last 4-6 days or can be frozen, wrap well to avoid freezer burn.