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Enjoy them warm, cold, with butter or without – these freshly baked currant hot cross buns are delicious however you eat them!
Makes: 12
Skill level:Bit of effort

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

fat 6.0g calories 285(kcal)

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.