Friday, 6 April 2012

Hot cross buns

This is not the traditional Osborne recipe, but I've just checked it works. Makes 12 buns:

For the buns:
450g / 1lb strong plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
50g / 2oz butter
25g / 1oz fresh yeast (or you may substitute dried yeast)
50g / 2oz caster sugar
100g / 4oz currants
50g / 2oz chopped mixed peel
150ml / 1/4 pint warm milk
4 tablespoons warm water
1 egg, beaten

For the crosses:
± 2oz plain flour
± 3 tablespoons cold water

For the glaze:
50g/ 2oz granulated sugar
3 tablespoons milk

Sift flour, salt and spices into a bowl. Rub in the butter. Put the yeast in a cup with 1 tbsp sugar and stir until it goes liquid. Meanwhile stir the remaining sugar into the mixture and also the currants and peel. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the liquidy yeast into it, together with the milk, water and egg. Mix to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until elastic. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with cling film or a plastic bag, and leave to rise in a warm place [airing cupboard, or spot near the boiler do nicely] for about 1 to 1.5 hours, long enough for it to double in size.

Then knock back the dough and divide it into 12 balls. Place balls well apart on a greased baking tray. Again cover and leave in a warm place, for about 30 minutes. Next, make the paste for the crosses using flour and water, divide this into 24 tiny balls, roll the balls into "worms" in your fingers and lay the worms over the buns in the form of crosses, sticking the ends down firmly to the side of the buns. Bake buns in a hot oven [220C, or 200C in a fan oven / gas 7] for 20 - 25 minutes. While they're baking make the glaze by bringing the sugar and milk to the boil, stirring. When the buns come out of the oven, brush the glaze over them. [This is difficult without a pastry brush, so locate one if possible]. Cool on a rack.

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