Rachel, Sophie's childhood friend, always baked when she was bored, and I still think this is the nicest and best way to bless others with your time! The first time I ate these was when Rachel made them for us! Hot Cross Buns are made for Good Friday and I hope you get around to making these, they smell just wonderful and taste even better. The recipe is adapted, and I hope you love them as much as I do!
For the Buns
- 500g/1lb 2oz all purpose flour
- 55g / 2 oz brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 55g / 2 oz cold butter cut into small pieces
- 100g/ 3 ½ oz cranberries or raisins or a mix of both
- 7g / ¼ oz dried yeast
- 300 ml /½ pint/ warm (not hot) milk
For the Crosses
- 75g / 2 oz all purpose plain flour
- 35g / 1 ½ oz cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 35g / 1 ½ oz icing sugar
Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and spices. Add the butter pieces and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse sand. Then, add the dried fruits and stir.
Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and finally, pour in the warm milk. Mix with a wooden spoon until a soft, sticky dough is formed.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for no less than 10 minutes or until a silky smooth dough is formed. Place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm (not hot) place until doubled in size, this should take about 2 hours.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knock all the air from the dough and knead again for 2 mins. Divide the dough into 12 and roll each into a bun shape. Place the buns in the buttered cupcake forms. With a sharp knife cut a shallow cross into the surface of the buns, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise again for about 45 mins or until well risen.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F
Make the crosses by rubbing the butter into the flour and the icing sugar, add a little cold water (1/2 tbsp) and knead to make a thick dough. If too dry add a little more water. Roll the dough into a ball, cut in 12. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The balls will go hard and be easier to roll.
- 1 ½ tbsp apricot jam, warmed