Hot Cross Buns

Makes: 12
Oven Temperature 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6
Cooking Time 15 minutes (with 1 hour of rising)

450g (1 lb) bread flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
50g (2 oz) caster sugar
50g (2 oz) margarine
150g (3 – 4 oz) currants (or currants and mixed peel)
7g (1/4 oz) dried yeast (1 tbsp)
250ml (6 fl oz) water (warmish)
Other (for the pastry crosses and glaze)
50g (2 oz) plain flour
25g (1 oz) margarine
About 2 or 3 tsp cold water
3 tbsp demerara sugar
3 tbsp water

1) Put the flour, salt, spice, sugar, peel, currants and yeast in a bowl and mix. Rub in the margarine.
2)Measure the water, adding a little boiling water to cold water so that it is warm, like a warm bath. If it is too hot the yeast will die.
3)Pour MOST of the water over the flour and stir. See if it comes as a dough in your hands. If the mixture is to dry (this happens especially if you’ve used wholemeal flour), add the rest of the water.
4)Put the dough on a lightly floured board and knead it for about 7 mins until smooth and stretchy. Put cling film on top.
1) Take all the ingredients for the buns apart from the currants/peel. Add the dry/wet ingredients in the order that your bread maker asks you to.
2) Set your bread maker off on a dough cycle.
3) After about 15 minutes, or when your machine tells you with a bleep, open the lid and add the currants/peel.
4) Put the dough in a bowl and cover with cling film/tea towel.
5) Put the bowl somewhere warmish and relax for about 45 minutes!
6) The dough should have doubled in size. Knock it back down gently and divide it into 12 balls. Put them on lightly greased baking sheets and leave them in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.
7) Meanwhile preheat the oven and make the pastry for the crosses (you could miss this out and cut crosses into the buns at this point instead.) Put the flour in a bowl and rub in the margarine until it forms crumbs. Stir in cold water (teaspoon by teaspoon) until you can form a dough. Roll the pastry out thinly and cut into 24 strips.
8) When the buns have risen, gently press the pastry strips into the dough to form crosses. You might need to use a bit of cold water to get them to stick properly.
9) Put the buns in the oven and bake for about 15-20 mins until pale golden brown.
10) Before the buns come out of the oven put the 3tbsp of sugar and 3tbsp of water into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has completely melted. When the hot cross buns are taken out of the oven, brush the tops with the syrup glaze so they go shiny.

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