Enjoy them warm, cold, with butter or without – these freshly baked currant hot cross buns are delicious however you eat them!
Skill level:Bit of effort
- 200ml (7fl oz) milk
- 60g (2oz) light muscovado sugar
- 15g (½ oz) dried yeast (see tip, right)
- 500g (1lb) strong plain flour
- 1tsp salt
- 2 level tsp ground mixed spice
- 1½ level tsp ground cinnamon
- 60g (2oz) butter
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 125g (4oz) currants
- 30g (1oz) chopped mixed peel
For the crosses
- 3 rounded tbsp plain flour
- 2-3tbsp milk
- 1tsp oil
For the glaze
- 3tbsp milk
- 3tbsp caster sugar
- Paper piping bag
- Warm the milk to blood heat – dip your finger in to test it. Add 1tsp of sugar, let it dissolve, then whisk in the dried yeast and leave in a warm place for 10-15 mins, so yeast can develop a good head of froth.
- Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, spices and the rest of the sugar into a large bowl or mixer bowl. Rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the yeast mixture and egg. Mix well with a spoon or the dough hook of the mixer. If the dough looks dry, add a little more warm milk or water.
- Use a dough hook to knead the dough on a low setting for about 5 mins, until it’s smooth. Or, knead on a lightly floured surface for about 8 mins, until smooth and elastic.
- Put the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a sheet of lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise for 1½-2 hrs, in a warm place, until doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, knead for a minute, then work in the currants and peel. Divide the dough into 12 pieces (about 90g/3oz each) and shape each one into a bun. Arrange them on one large baking sheet or in a Swiss roll tin, cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 20-30 mins, until doubled in size again. Meanwhile, set the oven to fairly hot, gas mark 6 or 200°C.
- To make the crosses: Spoon the flour into a small bowl, gradually stir in the milk and oil and beat to make a smooth batter. Spoon into a paper piping bag, cut off the end of the bag, and pipe a cross on top of each bun. Bake for 20 mins, until golden brown.
- To make the glaze: Heat the milk and sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and simmer for 2 mins. As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush with the glaze, then, when the buns are cool enough to handle, transfer them to a wire rack. Serve warm, cold, or split and toasted, with lots of butter.
How to freeze: Cool the buns and pack into a rigid container. Seal and label. Use within 3 months. Unwrap and thaw at room temperature; warm through for serving.
Nutritional information per portion
This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.
Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.