Written on the 5 April 2010 by Altitude Communications
Ray's Hot Cross Buns - A Traditional Recipe
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
30g compressed yeast (fresh)
4 cups (500g) Bread flour or white flour
1 level teaspoon of mixed spice (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup caster sugar or brown sugar (best flavour)
1 cup sultanas
1 level teaspoon chopped mixed peel
extra flour for kneading
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (hot).
Have 2 large mixing bowls ready, clean and dry.
Grease 1 bowl and set aside. Grease a baking tray.
Place milk in a small saucepan and heat to simmering. Pour into a measuring cup. Add cold water to make 1 cup of liquid.
Crumble yeast into a small bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture and stir well. Cover with plastic.
Sift flour, spice and salt into the ungreased large mixing bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips. Add sugar, sultanas and peel. Make a well in the centre. Pour in yeast, milk mixture and unbeaten egg. Mix into a soft dough. Empty out onto a well floured surface.
Knead the dough lightly and well, using extra flour if necessary. Place the dough in the greased mixing bowl, rounded side of dough up. Cover with plastic wrap or clean dry tea towel. Stand in a warm place, free of draughts, (on top of stove is best) until dough is doubled in bulk. This can take between 3/4 hour to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the temperature. Punch down and knead the dough well.
Remove from bowl. Divide into 15 even sized portions. Knead each one into a round bun. Arrange on a greased baking tray. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and leave to rise again in a warm place until double in size, approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Mark crosses with the back of a knife or pipe with special cross mixture.
Bake in a hot oven for about 25 minutes or until brown on top.
While buns are cooking, heat I tablespoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon water with a good pinch of gelatine in a small saucepan.
Add a strip of lemon skin and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Brush this mixture over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.
Special Cross Mixture
Mix 2 level tablespoons of SR flour with about 2 tablespoons of cold water to a smooth paste. Pipe mixture onto buns before baking.
Serving Suggestion: Serve buns warm with butter. Also good with honey or marmalade.
Leftover Potential: Warm the buns for a few minutes in a low oven or reheat in the microwave 10 to 20 seconds per bun, depending on size.