It isn’t Easter until my Mum walks through the door with a freshly-baked batch of these delicious hot cross buns. This family recipe, appearing in my Grandma’s book The Margaret Fulton Cookbook, has been an annual favourite since my childhood. They are so much better than anything you’ll ever buy, give them a try and I’m sure they’ll become a family tradition for you too.
I personally prefer mine without mixed peel, but add it if you wish.
4 cups plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 sachet (7g) dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup currants or sultanas
1/4 chopped mixed peel (optional)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
warm white icing, for piping crosses
2 tbsp cold water
1/3 cup self raising flour
1/4 tsp powdered gelatine
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp hot water
- Sift the flour, spices and salt. Rub in the butter and stir in the sugar and dry yeast. Make a well in the sifted flour and pour in the water, milk and egg. Mix to a soft dough and knead on lightly floured board, until smooth and elastic, for about 5 minutes. Lastly, knead in the fruits lightly to distribute evenly. Put into a clean, greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1.25 – 1.5 hours).
- Turn out onto a floured board and lightly pat into 2cm thickness. Cut into 14 even pieces. Knead each into a round shape. Preheat oven to 200C. Put the buns 2.5cm apart on a greased baking tray. Cover and allow to rise (prove) in a warm place for a further 20-30 minutes.
- To make white crosses, mix water and flour and beat until smooth. Fill into a piping bag fitted with a narrow round tube. Brush buns with egg white and pipe crosses onto buns. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden and cooked. Meanwhile make glaze by combining gelatine and water in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Remove buns from oven and, while still hot, brush with the glaze. Leave to dry in the oven with the door open for a minute or so.
- Serve warm with butter.
- Can be stored in the fridge or freeze and reheated as needed.