Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns
Although it seems hot cross buns are available all year round they are traditionally served on Good Friday. Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" is said at the time.
Makes 12


Ingredients
450g (1 lb) strong plain flour
55g (2 oz) caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp mixed spice
1 sachet dried yeast (7g)
225ml (8 fl oz) milk and water mixed
75g (3 oz) green raisins
75g (3 oz) mixed peel
55g (2 oz) butter, melted
1 free range egg


Crosses:
25g (1 oz) plain flour
Cold water to mix
Glaze:
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp water

Method
Place the flour in a large bowl, mix in the sugar, salt, spice, yeast, raisins and peel. Make a well in the centre. Heat the milk and water until warm (tepid), add to the flour mixture with the melted butter and egg. Mix to a dough and knead for 5 minutes until smooth, alternatively use the AGA kMix stand mixer. Leave to rest for 5 minutes then divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and knead each into a smooth ball.

Place onto the cold plain shelf, lined with Bake-O-Glide and cover with oiled clingfilm or similar. Leave to rise, or prove, next to the Rayburn until doubled in size, this could take 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

To make the crosses mix the flour with enough cold water to form a paste. Fill a small piping bag and pipe a cross over each bun.

Main Oven at 220ºC (425ºF), Gas Mark 7
Slide the cold plain shelf onto the third set of runners down and bake for about 15-20 minutes, turning once, until golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped.

For the glaze dissolve the sugar in the water on the hotplate. Brush the glaze over the cooked buns and return to the Main Oven for 2 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm, or if there are any left serve toasted the next day with butter or cream cheese.