Hot cross buns are a tried and tested Easter classic and this recipe doesn't disappoint.
500g white bread flour
55g Muscovado sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
55g Dairygold baking block, cut into small pieces
150g mixed dried fruits
25g candied mixed peel
7g dried yeast
300 ml / ½ pint warm (not hot) milk
75g all purpose plain flour
35g Dairygold, cut into small pieces
1 ½ tbsp apricot jam, warmed
Mix the flour, sugar, salt and spices together in a big bowl. Then add the Dairygold and rub in until it resembles coarse sand. Add the dried fruits and mixed peel and stir.
Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and pour in the warm milk. Mix together until a thick consistancy is formed.
Lightly flour a surface and scoop the dough onto it. Knead for no less than 10 minutes or until a silky smooth dough is formed. Place in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel.
Leave the bowl to rise in a warm (not hot) place until its roughly doubled in size, this normally takes about 2 hours.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, making sure all the air is released from the dough and knead again for 2 minutes.
Seperate the dough into twelve and roll into bun shapes. Place the buns on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cut a shallow cross into the top of each bun. Cover again with a tea towel and leave to rise again for approx 45 mins or until well risen.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7
Now it’s time to make the crosses. Rub the Dairygold into the flour, add a little cold water (1/2 tbsp) and stir to make a thick dough. If too dry, add a little more water.
Roll the dough into a ball, cut in half, then each half into 6.
Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The balls will go hard and be easier to roll.
Roll each small dough ball into a long thin sausage, cut in half and firmly press each 'sausage' half into the cross of the buns without knocking the air out.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until the buns are well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the buns with the jam.
Lift the buns onto a wire rack and leave to cool.