Although it seems hot cross buns are available all year round they are traditionally served on Good Friday. Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year. Recipe courtesy of AGA Specialist Dawn Roads.
500g strong plain flour
50g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
6g mixed spice
7g easy bake dried yeast
100g golden medium sized sultanas
85g mixed peel
225ml milk and water mixed
1 free range egg, beaten
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp milk
25g plain flour
Cold water to mix
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp water
1. Place the flour in a large bowl and mix in the sugar, salt, spice, yeast, sultanas and peel. Once combined, make a well in the centre.
2. Melt the butter, add the milk and water and gently heat until warm (tepid). Tip the liquid into the flour mixture along with the beaten egg. Mix to a dough and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Leave to rest for 5 minutes then divide the dough into 20 equal pieces and knead each into a smooth ball.
3. Place the buns into a baking tray. Cover with oiled cling film or a re-usable stretch cover. Leave to rise, or prove, next to the AGA until doubled in size, this could take 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
4. To make the crosses, mix the flour with enough cold water to form a paste. Fill a small piping bag and pipe a cross over each bun.
5. Slide the baking tray onto the third set of runners down in the roasting oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, turning once, until golden and the buns sound hollow when tapped.
6. If you are making the glaze, dissolve the sugar in the water on the simmering plate. Brush the glaze over the cooked buns and return to the roasting oven for 2 minutes.
7. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm. These are also delicious served the next day toasted and spread with butter or cream cheese.
Conventional cooking: Bake at 220ºC (425ºF), fan oven 200ºC, Gas Mark 7 for about 15 minutes, until golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped.