There’s nothing quite like the sweetly spiced scent of fresh hot cross buns filling the home.
The best way to enjoy them... with plenty of butter hot out of the oven!
500g strong white bread flour
75g caster sugar
40g unsalted butter
1 large egg, beaten
7g fast-action dried yeast
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
FOR THE TOPPING
75g plain flour
2 tbsp. golden syrup
Put the flour, sugar, spices and lemon zest into a large bowl and mix together. Add the salt and yeast making sure to put them at opposite sides of the bowl.
Melt the butter; in a separate pan warm the milk over a low heat.
Pour the butter and half of the warm milk into the dry ingredients with the beaten egg.
Using your hands or a fork (can also be done in a food mixer using a dough hook) bring the mixture together.
Gradually add the remaining milk, until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is elastic and forming a smooth ball.
Lightly oil a bowl; place the dough in the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for an hour and a half or until doubled in size.
Tip the risen dough onto a floured surface; divide into 12 pieces.
Shape the dough pieces into balls.
Arrange the buns on a lined baking tray about 2cm apart.
Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for around one hour or until almost doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
When the buns are ready make the topping. Add the flour to a bowl with 100ml water and mix to make a paste.
Spoon into an icing bag and cut a small hole in the end; pipe a cross on each bun.
Put the tray in the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
Meanwhile melt the golden syrup and while the buns are still warm brush with a little syrup to give a nice shine.
Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
Recipe supplied by Lizzie Schofield @bakesbybutter.
Visit www.bakesbybutter.com to order your everyday cakes and cakes for special occasions.