This Easter classic was traditionally eaten only on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent. The sweet buns can be made in advance, wrapped tightly in foil and stored in the freezer for up to two months. Reheat them in a preheated oven (170C/ 150C fan) for 10 minutes until warmed through.
Ingredients (makes 8)
225g strong bread flour
5g instant dried yeast
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
25g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
25g dried mixed peel
1 small egg, lightly beaten
40g plain flour
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, cinnamon, sugar and salt.
2 Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then mix in the raisins and mixed peel.
3 Add the milk and egg, and knead until the dough comes together.
4 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and elastic.
5 Form into a round shape, place into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with clingfilm, and prove for 45 mins to 1 hour until the dough has almost doubled in size.
6 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a couple of minutes, then divide into 8 (around 60g each) portions, and shape each into a round.
7 Place the buns on a lined baking tray or tin. Cover with greased clingfilm, and set aside for 45 minutes or until the buns have doubled in size.
8 Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/ Gas Mark 5.
9 Make the flour paste: mix the flour and water together in a bowl to form a smooth paste. Fill a piping bag with the paste, pipe crosses over the tops of the buns.
10 Bake for 15-20 mins until brown and cooked through.
11 Meanwhile, make the syrup: mix the sugar and warm water together. Brush over the hot cross buns when they come out of the oven.
12 Best eaten hot, with plenty of butter, although if you're smart, you'll make two batches and freeze some for later!