Hot cross buns

Makes about 12 buns 30g/1oz fresh yeast
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275ml/9fl oz milk at room temperature
450g/141/2oz plain flour
85g/31/4oz unsalted butter, room temperature
90g/31/2oz caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground allspice
A pinch of salt
2 large eggs
80g/3oz sultanas
80g/3oz currants
80g/3oz chopped homemade candied peel
Flour and water to make a paste

To glaze

1 egg yolk
A little tepid water
1 tsp sugar

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7. Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Place the flour in a bowl and rub in the butter until it is the consistency of rough breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, all the spices and a pinch of salt. Mix together well.

Whisk the eggs and add to the milk. Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the yeast and liquid and mix. Leave for 5 minutes and then work to a soft dough. Add the sultanas, currants and peel and knead until the dough appears glossy.

Cover the dough with a clean cloth and sit it in a warm place until it doubles in volume. Knock back the dough by kneading for a further 2-3 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes then shape into little buns – approximately 30g each. Place on a baking tray.

Beat the egg yolk, water and sugar together to make the glaze. Mix the flour and water together until it is quite solid, then roll out on a floured surface until it is an 1/8 inch thick, slice into ribbons and lay to form a cross on the top of the buns.

Brush with the glaze and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for five minutes. Reduce the heat to 180C and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown.

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