Hot Cross Buns
It's Easter time and one of my favourites to eat on Good Friday is Hot Cross Buns. It's great to make with the children and also a tasty treat for your guests.
For the buns
120ml warm full fat milk
120ml cool water
500g strong white flour
75g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
10g fast-action yeast
2 free-range eggs beaten
80g mixed peel
1 apple, cored and diced
2 oranges, zest only
2 tsp ground cinnamon
sunflower oil, for greasing the bowl
For the cross
75g plain flour
For the glaze
3 tbsp apricot jam
Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter and egg together in a bowl, then slowly add the warm milk and water until it forms a soft, sticky dough. Knead the dough by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic OR if you have a mixer with a dough hook then chuck it al lin and leave it to mix and knead.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for approximately one hour, or until doubled in size.
Tip out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and add the sultanas, mixed peel, chopped apple, orange zest and cinnamon,. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, and roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface. Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving enough space so that the buns just touch when they rise and expand. Set aside to prove for another hour.
Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
For the cross, mix the flour with the water in small bowl. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.
Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven, or until golden-brown.
Add a small amount of warm water to the apricot jam and mix, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. Then brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.