Hot and cross in the kitchen

Hot cross buns
Makes 12 buns
450 g strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
50 g sugar
7 g fast acting yeast
40 g milk powder
215 ml warm water
50 g unsalted butter
1 egg
115 g golden sultanas
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cold water

Make a dough with all the ingredients except the sultanas and knead for 5 – 10 minutes until smooth, moist and elastic. You can do this by hand or use a bread machine or mixer.
Add the sultanas and mix, put dough in a clean bowl and cover with plastic or a damp cloth and leave in a warm place to double in size.
Pre-heat your oven to 250C (500F, Gas 10)
Turn the dough out on to a clean work top, work the dough gently to push the air out and divide in to 12 equal pieces (80 g per piece +/-)
Shape in to balls and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, they should not be touching each other,  loosely cover with a damp cloth or plastic and leave again to double in size.
Lightly brush them with beaten egg, then make the topping for the crosses by mixing together the flour, sugar and water then spoon in to a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
Put the buns in the oven and turn it down to 200C (400F, Gas 6) and bake for 15 minutes or so until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped underneath.
I like to brush them with a sugar syrup (equal quantities of sugar and water, bring to the boil and cool) when they come out of the oven for a nice sticky shine.
Cool the buns on a wire rack and then enjoy them split and buttered.


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