Hot Cross Buns

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16 HOT CROSS BUNS 
1/2 cup milk
 
1/2 cup boiling water
 
1 teaspoon brown sugar
 
1 level tablespoon yeast
 
4 cups white flour
 
2 tablespoons brown sugar - extra
 
1/4 teaspoon salt
 
1 tablespoon butter
 
1 cup
sultanas
1 tablespoon mixed spice
 
1 egg - lightly beaten

Pour milk and water into a bowl. Stir in sugar, sprinkle over yeast. Set aside for approx. 5 minutes or until yeast mixture is nice and frothy. Using a larger bowl, mix together flours, extra sugar and salt. Rub in butter, add fruit and spice. Make a well in the centre, pour in yeast liquid plus egg, mix thoroughly, dough should be slightly sticky - a little more warm liquid may need to be added. It could be up to an extra 1/4 cup. Turn onto a lightly floured bench Knead for 10 minutes. Return dough to a warm, greased bowl, leave in a warm place to double in bulk. Approx. 1 hour. Punch dough down, turn onto a lightly floured bench, knead 2-3 minutes. To shape buns: Divide dough into 16 pieces. Shape into balls. Place onto an oven tray (either lightly greased or I just use baking paper), one finger width apart. Return to a warm place to double in bulk. Approx. 1 hour. Brush the buns with glaze. See below  At this stage carefully place on crosses. Bake at 220degC for 8-10 minutes. .

Sticky glaze: Mix 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon(optional) with 1/4 cup boiling water. To create a syrup, microwave for 2-3 minutes (Make sure the jug is big enough as it will boil over in a cup).

To make the crosses I just mix about tablespoons of flour with half a tsp baking powder and a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar, then add just enough water to make a fairly thick paste.  This can be quite easily piped across the buns once they have risen to fill all the spaces on the tray.  I just use a small plastic bag and cut a tiny corner off.

 

To speed up the first rising you can microwave the dough on low power for one minute and then leave it for ten minutes and do another minute at low  power,  this should hurry the dough to getting to double its size.  This may not be necessary depending on your timing.

+Kristen Macdonald