Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hot Cross Buns

For the buns
1lb Strong White Flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp salt
1 and ½ tablespoons ground mixed spice
2oz butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
3oz sugar
Rind of 1 lemon
1 sachet fast-action yeast (7g)
1 egg
10fl oz tepid milk
5oz Fruit Mix
2oz Glazed cherries
For the topping
2 tbsp Plain Flour
Vegetable Oil (for greasing)
1 tbsp golden syrup, gently heated, for glazing

For the buns

Sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture then add the sugar and lemon zest.

Beat the egg and add to tepid milk with yeast.  Slowly pour egg mix into dry ingredients above and mix together to a form a soft, pliable dough.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined. Knead lightly for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Grease a large, mixing bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour to prove. (I normally place my bowl in my airing cupboard where the hot press is)

Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back the dough. Shape it into a ball again and return it to the bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with a cling film or polythene bag  and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons of cold water.
When the buns have risen, remove the polythene bag and the greaseproof paper. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot golden syrup, then set aside to cool on a wire rack. ENJOY WITH A CUPA!!

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