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Hot cross buns

Ingredients

  • 450g/1lb plain flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1½ tsp mixed spice

  • 50g/2oz butter

  • 75g/3oz currants

  • 50g/2oz mixed peel, chopped

  • 7g sachet of 1½ tsp fast-action dried yeast

  • 100ml/3½fl oz warm water

  • 100ml 3½fl oz warm milk

  • 1 egg, beaten

For the decoration

Preparation method

  1. Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon and mixed spice into a large bowl for electronic mixer with a dough hook and rub in the butter.

  2. Stir in the currants, mixed peel and yeast. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water, milk and beaten egg. Mix this together to form a sticky dough, then knead on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes (or for 5 minutes in the machine on a low speed) Until it is smooth and elastic.

  3. Place the dough in a large bowl, greased lightly with oil, cover with a slightly damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in volume.

  4. Knock back the dough by pressing the air out of it, and knead for a couple of minutes. Divide into 12 equal-sized pieces and shape into round buns. Place on to one or two large greased baking sheets, leaving enough space between each bun for rising. Cover with the tea towel and leave to rise again until doubled in size, which will take about 30-45 minutes.

  5. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  6. Whilst the buns are rising, roll out the pastry or flour dough thinly and cut out 24 strips, approx. 0.5x7.5cm/¼x3in for the decoration.

  7. Brush the risen buns with the beaten egg and lay 2 strips of the pastry/dough on to each bun to form a cross in the middle. Brush with the egg and place in the oven. Cook for 15-18 minutes until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath.

  8. Whilst the buns are cooking, place the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved.

  9. As soon as the buns are out of the oven, brush with the glaze and eat straight away or leave to cool on a wire rack and serve toasted, dripping with butter.

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