Easter Hot Cross Buns

Makes 8 buns

For the buns
100ml milk
10g fresh yeast / 1 tsp fast action yeast
2 tbsp warm water
30g caster sugar
1 egg
250g strong plain flour (sieved)
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp ground mixed spice
40g unsalted butter
50g raisins
Zest 1 x orange

For the glaze
50g plain flour
pinch baking powder
2stp oil
20 ml milk
1 tsp caster sugar

Method

Scald the milk in a pan and remove. Cut the butter into 1cm squares and add to the milk. This will cool the liquid, wait until blood temperature, about 38°C

Mix the fresh yeast and water with 1/2 tsp of caster sugar to a loose paste. Beat the egg then add this to the yeast mixture.

If using dried yeast – add this to the flour along with the caster sugar (no water is needed). The egg is to be added before the milk

Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the salt, the yeast mixture and then 3/4 of the milk mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Add enough of the remaining milk to make a soft dough wiht your fingers.

Tap the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface, and knead for 8- 10 mins until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cling cover and leave in a warm place for about a 1.5 hours until doubled in size

Once risen transfer to a surface and knock the dough back, then knead in the raisins and orange zest for 2-3 mins

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and shape into buns and place about 2 cm apart on a oiled baking sheet. Flatten slightly with your palm, and then cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove until doubled in size – about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C

To make the crosses for the top of the buns, sift flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the oil and enough cold water to make a loose pipeable paste , put into a piping bag ready for use.

Once the buns have risen and doubled in size, mix the milk and caster sugar and lightly brush the buns lightly, score a 1mm shallow cross on the top of each bun, and then pipe a cross on the top

Bake for 15 mins, then brush the buns again with the sweetened milk and return to the oven for 5 more mins, until golden brown. The should feel hollow and light for the size. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve toasted or simply in half with butter, Yummy !