Classic Spice and Fruit Hot Cross BunsMakes:
This recipe makes around 24 great buns. I like to arrange the buns in a circle on the tray because in the Christian tradition the circle symbolises God's unending love but you can arrange them anyway you like.
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- ¼ cup Condensed Milk
- 2 tbsp Dried Yeast granules or 1 ½ sachets instant yeast
- 5 cups Plain flour + plus extra for kneading
- 3 tsp mixed spice
- 3 tsp of cinnamon
- ½ tsp of salt
- 1 cup currants or raisins or a mixture
- ½ cup of mixed peel
- 50 g of softened Butter
- 2 eggs
To make the crosses
- 1 cup Plain Flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp butter
- About ½ cup of water
- 3 tbsp sugar dissolved in 1/3 cup warm water
Blend water and condensed milk. If using active dried yeast (not instant yeast) sprinkle onto warm liquid and set aside for about 10 minutes, when frothy it's ready to use.
Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl – if using instant yeast, add it to the dry ingredients.
Mix in the dried fruit and peel, then make a hollow in the centre. Pour in warm milk mixture, softened butter and eggs. Stir until combined then turn out onto a floured bench. Knead lightly adding extra flour as you knead until the dough is smooth and springy.
Place dough into a greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm place till doubled in size - around 40 minutes. Alternatively, microwave on LOW for 1 minute, rest for 10 minutes, then repeat.
Punch the dough down then give it a quick knead. Divide into 24 portions and roll into balls. Place on a greased oven tray, cover and rest in a warm place until doubled in size.
Blend the ingredients in a small bowl with enough warm water to make a mixture soft enough to be piped. If you haven't got a piping bag, put the mixture into a plastic bag, squeeze it down to one corner then snip a tiny bit off the corner of the bag so you can squeeze the mixture through the hole making crosses on the top of each bun.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Bake for buns for 15 minutes then brush with sugar glaze and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until they look cooked. Remove and brush again with glaze. Serve warm, split and spread with butter.
This dough can also be baked in loaf pans to make a heavenly spicy fruit bread for slicing and toasting at any time of the year.