Hot cross buns
MAKES 12 PREP TIME 1 HOUR (PLUS PROVING TIME)
1¼ cups (375ml) milk
¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
4 cups (600g) plain flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon salt
60g butter, softened
finely grated rind of 2 oranges
1½ cups (250g) sultanas
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 (50g) cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 In a microwave safe jug, heat the milk on HIGH 100% power for 60 seconds or until warm. Add the caster sugar and stir until dissolved; gradually whisk in the dried yeast. It is important at this stage that the milk is warm enough to activate the yeast but not too hot. Stand yeast mixture in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until it froths up a little.
2 Sift flour, cinnamon, mixed spice and salt into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in butter. Add orange rind and sultanas. Add eggs and yeast mixture; mix until it comes together in a sticky dough.
3 Turn dough out onto a lightly floured bench and knead by hand for 5-10 minutes until stretchy and smooth. Alternatively, place in the bowl of an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead for 5 minutes on low speed. Place dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm place for 45 minutes until it rises to almost twice its size.
4 Turn the dough onto the bench and knead the dough for a couple of minutes, then divide and roll into 12 balls. Place the balls 1cm apart on a greased baking tray. Cover loosely and leave in a warm place for another 15 minutes.
5 Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). In a small bowl combine the self-raising flour with 50ml of water and mix well. Place in a small piping bag with a small plain tube, or a plastic bag with a tiny piece of the corner snipped off. Pipe a cross onto each of the buns. Bake for 25 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Heat the jam with 2 tablespoons of water in the microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 30 seconds; strain and brush over the hot buns to glaze.
Suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.