Saturday 16 December 2017

Traditional: Hot cross buns

This is a more advanced recipe so pick out some age-appropriate tasks your children can master from start to finish. They’ll feel great they’ve helped make this classic Good Friday sticky treat. There are also plenty of breaks during this recipe, which can be used to make quick chocolate treats.

Ingredients (Makes 12 buns):

* 625g plain flour

* 1tsp salt

* 2tsp ground mix spice

* 50g unsalted butter

* 85g sugar

* 1.5tsp fast-action yeast

* 1 free-range egg

* 275ml tepid milk

* 125g mixed dried fruit

* Zest of one lemon

For the topping

* 2tbsp flour

* Vegetable oil

* 1tbsp golden syrup


1. Sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice together.

2. Rub the butter in with your fingers and then add the sugar, lemon zest and yeast.

3. Beat the egg and add it to the flour mix, along with the tepid milk. Mix together to get a soft dough.

4. Lightly flour a flat surface and evenly work in the dried fruit.

5. Knead the mixture gently for about five minutes before shaping it into a large ball.

6. Grease a large, warm mixing bowl with butter and place the mix into it. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for one hour.

7. Once the hour is up, return the dough to a floured surface and knock back the dough (or get all the air out of it).

8. Shape it into a ball once more, place back in the bowl, cover and leave aside for 30 minutes.

9. Divide the dough into 12 equal bun-shaped pieces and set aside for a further five to 10 minutes before placing them on a greased baking tray. Cover them with lightly oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for around 45 minutes. They will almost double in size.

10. Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour with two tablespoons of cold water to create a smooth paste.

11. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.

12. Transfer the buns to a pre-heated oven (240°C/475°F/Gas 8) and bake for 8–12 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot golden syrup, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.

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