Introduction: Delicious Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns are buns marked with a cross on the top and traditionally eaten on Good Friday in many countries. These spiced sweet buns with sticky glaze on top and dried fruit inside are simply irresistible!
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Step 1: Ingredients:
625 g (1.3 lb) Plain Flour
80 g (2.7 oz) Caster Sugar
275 ml (3 fl.oz) Milk
20 g (0.7 oz) Fresh Yeast (or 1 ½ tsp fast-action)
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Ground Mixed Spice
1 Medium Egg
85 g (3 oz) Mixed Dried Fruit
Step 2: Directions:
1. First pour milk into two mugs. Take one mug and heat it up in the microwave for a few seconds (the milk can’t be too cold or too hot – lukewarm is the right temperature). Add fresh yeast and a tablespoon of sugar. Mix. In the second mug, mix the milk with one egg until well combined. Set both mugs aside for later.
2. Sift the flour in a large bowl. Add caster sugar, salt, ground mixed spice and mix until well combined. Pour in the content of both mugs (make sure the fresh yeast has formed a foam – if not, then wait a bit longer). Now using a wooden spoon combine all the ingredients. Transfer onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes to get elastic dough.
3. Grease the same bowl with some oil and place the dough in. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
4. Once the dough has risen, transfer it onto the floured surface and using your fist, knock it down. Now add dried fruit in the middle of the dough and start bringing the edges towards the middle (like if you wanted to cover the fruits). Start kneading slowly and knead until the fruits have moved around and you see them coming out (You should be able to see or feel that the fruit is spread throughout the dough).
5. When ready, stretch and flatten the dough (use a rolling pin, if needed). Using a cookie cutter cut out about 15 -18 pieces. Roll them into balls. If you end up with cut offs simply form balls out of them.
6. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cover with a kitchen towel. Let them rise for 1 hour.
7. Once risen, you can either make crosses with flour (and water) or wait until they are cooked and use icing sugar (and water) instead. In both cases the mixtures should be quite thick but still easy to pipe (always use less water than flour/sugar).
8. Bake them in a preheated oven at 200C / 400F for 15 minutes or until baked through.
9. Serve cold, warm or toasted with butter & jam!
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