Hot Cross Buns

This recipe is from Tim Allen’s Book – The Ballymaloe Bread Book and it will put you off store-bought buns forever. It’s a little bit of work but well worth the effort.

Hot Cross Buns
25g fresh yeast
1 Tablespoon castor sugar
50ml warm milk
450g bakers flour (assume high grade flour here)
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1-2 teaspoons mixed spice
85g caster sugar
85g butter
225-300 ml tepid milk
85g currants
2 eggs
50g sultanas
25g chopped peel

Egg wash to glaze ( milk egg yolk and sugar)
shortcrust pastry

Preheat over to 220 degrees C

In a measuring jug dissolve the yeast with the tablespoon of caster sugar in the 50ml of warm milk
In a large wide mixing bowl sieve the flour then add salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice and 85g of sugar. Rub in the butter.

In a bowl whisk the eggs and remaining warm milk. Pour this into the measuring jug with the yeast mixture. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet mixture. Combine to a soft dough.

Leave for about 10 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, then add the currants, sultanas and peel. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and shiny.Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (an hour or so).

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knock the dough back and leave to rest for a few minutes.
Divide into 16 pieces, shape into buns. Place them on a baking sheet, egg wash and mark each one carefully by putting a cross of shortcrust pastry on each bun.

Allow to rise for an hour and egg wash again.

Bake in a preheated oven for 5 minutes then reduce heat to 200 degrees C and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden.

Cool on a wire rack.

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