classic hot cross buns

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • ½ cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar 
  • 1½ cups (375ml) lukewarm milk 
  • 4¼ cups (635g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted 
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1½ cups (240g) sultanas 
  • ⅓ cup (55g) candied mixed peel, optional 
  • ½ cup (75g) plain (all-purpose) flour, extra 
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) water
  • unsalted butter, to serve 

glaze

  • 1 tablespoon water 
  • 2 teaspoons gelatine powder 
  • ½ cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar 
  • ¼ cup (60ml) water, extra
  1. Place the yeast, 2 teaspoons sugar and the milk in a large bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, indicating that the yeast is active. Add the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, butter, egg, sultanas, mixed peel and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and mix until a sticky dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes or until elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Arrange the dough balls in a lightly greased 22cm square cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). 
  2. Place the extra flour and the water in a bowl and stir to combine. Place in a piping bag or a plastic bag with one corner snipped off, and pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until golden and springy to touch. 
  3. While the hot cross buns are baking, make the glaze. Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle over the gelatine. Set aside for 1–2 minutes or until the gelatine is dissolved. Set aside. Place the sugar and extra water in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Use a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Add the gelatin mixture and cook for 1–2 minutes or until the gelatin is dissolved. Brush with the warm glaze while the buns are still hot. Serve warm with butter. Makes 12.
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