Hot Cross Buns

method

  1. For the dough, measure all of the ingredients except the currants (or raisins) and peel into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the hook attachment or in a large bowl. Mix the dough on low speed until it comes together, then increase the speed by one and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes (the dough is soft and should stick to the bottom of the bowl). If mixing by hand, stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Towards the end of kneading, add the currants (or raisins)and mixed peel and knead in. Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 75 to 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
  2. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 even pieces. Shape each piece into a ball by rolling between your hands while it remains on the work surface. Place the rolled buns in a greased 9-x-13-inch pan leaving space between them. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for 45 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Uncover the buns and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a rich brown on top. While still hot from the oven, prepare the glaze.
  4. For the glaze, bring the sugar, water and vanilla up to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. Brush this syrup over the still-hot buns, until it has all been used. Let the buns cool completely in the tin.
  5. For the icing, stir the icing sugar and together until a thick consistency suitable for piping (add a few more drops of milk, if needed). Pour this into a small piping bag and pipe crosses on top of each bun, letting the icing set for an hour before serving.

    The buns will, keep, well wrapped, for a full day, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

    From Bake with Anna Olson, Appetite by Random House, 2016