These hot cross buns are hearty and delicious, stuffed with fruit and fragrant with mixed spices. The home made crosses are firmer and chewier than what you'll find on most bakery buns, but the textural contrast with the softness of a fresh-out-of-the-oven bun is fantastic.
Makes 12 hot cross buns
500 grams strong bread flour
1 rounded tablespoon dry active yeast
3 tablespoons cinnamon
8 tablespoons mixed spice
2.5 teaspoons bread improver
2.5 teaspoons salt
1 cup dried currants
1 cup dried fruit medley
500 milliletres very warm water
Half cup oat meal
1 tablespoon cold pressed oil
2 tablespoons rice malt
2 tablespoons rice malt
1 tablespoon water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1 cup plain white baking flour
2 tablespoons icing sugar
Lightly grease baking tray. Mix together hot water, oat meal, oil and rice malt, stirring until combined. Allow mixture to cool to temperature comfortable to the touch.
Mix together dry ingredients including fruit and make a well in the centre. Pour in three quarters of the liquid mix, adding more as needed to make a moist, stiff dough. Cover the top of the bowl with a recycled plastic bag. To speed up the rising process, sit in a warm place or place in a sink two-thirds filled with hand-hot water (check regularly to ensure water does not get cold).
When doubled in size, turn onto a floured board and bring together into a ball, kneading well. Divide the dough into quarters and each quarter into three equal pieces. Roughly shape each into a ball, kneading as you go. Adjust size if necessary to make sure they are all approximately equal. Place on greased tray, leaving some room for rising. Brush with egg glaze, leave in a warm place to double in size.
Meanwhile, make the cross mix. Stir flour and sieved icing sugar together, add enough water to make a smooth, pliable dough.
When buns have doubled in size, preheat oven - gas 210C, fan forced 200C, electric 210C. Roll small portions of cross mix into pieces long enough to cover each bun crossways, arrange in crosses on each bun - attach using a little more egg wash, and glaze the crosses too.
Place into preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the glossy glaze in a small pot, bring to the boil and allow to boil for about 4 minutes or until a small dab of cooled glaze feels tacky. When buns are cooked, brush with glossy glaze and serve with plenty of butter!