Hot Cross Buns


2 oz (50 g) brown sugar
1 oz (30 g) fresh yeast
9 fl oz (275 ml) milk or water
1 lb (450 g) plain white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 oz (50 g) butter or margarine
4 oz (125 g) currants
2 oz (50g) candied peel, chopped (optional)



1. Measure out the sugar and take out one teaspoonful. Add this to the yeast in a teacup, and stir until thick and creamy. Heat the water, and when lukewarm, remove from the heat and pour in the yeast mixture. Leave until frothy (about ten minutes.)

2. Sift the flour, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining sugar. Rub in the butter and then pour in the yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough is formed, and then turn out onto a floured board and knead for eight minutes. Add more flour if the dough seems sticky.

3. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a tea towel, and leave to rise for an hour in a warm place.

3. Add the currants and peel to the dough, and knead until they are well mixed in. Divide the dough into thirds, then each third into half, and half again (making 12 pieces). Make each piece into a bun shape, flatten slightly, and place on greased baking sheets. Cover with tea towels and leave to rise another twenty minutes.

4. Set the oven 200C (400F, Gas Mark 6). Make a deep cross with the point of a sharp knife in the top of each bun. Bake for ten minutes, and then switch round the baking sheets. Bake for another ten minutes.

5. Meanwhile dissolve 2 tablespoons of sugar in 3 tablespoons water to make a glaze. Brush this glaze over the buns, and then return them to the oven. Bake for two minutes more, or until golden brown.

         6. Brush with more glaze while still hot.

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