Fruity Hotcross Buns

For some Easter is here. For others it comes a little later. I belong to the latter, but it doesn’t matter when you celebrate, these traditional buns are easy to make and look so darn good when they are finished. The house is filled with the loveliest aromas welcoming anyone who comes though the front door! Never having made these before I must admit I was a little intimidated, but they really are easy to make even though they are time-consuming, but as with most things, the best comes to those who wait.

What you will need

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup warm water
20 ml yeast
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup warmed milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup of mixed dried fruit. (Here I used a mixture of raisins,cranberries and chopped dates)

Glaze

2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water

Icing

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp water

To begin dissolve the yeast in the warm water along with 1 tbsp of the sugar. Cover and leave until it becomes foamy.
In a large bowl combine the remaining sugar with the flour, cinnamon, salt, ground cloves and nutmeg. Add the yeast.
In a smaller bowl whisk together the milk, butter, egg and egg yolk. Pour into the flour mixture and mix well until a dough forms.
Now this is where the fun begins. Yes it may seem like a long time but use it to get out any frustrations you may have by kneading until you get a nice smooth surface. This will take about 8 minutes or so. If the dough is sticky just dust with a little more flour. Shape into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover with cling and a tea towel and set aside to rise for approx 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down dough and knead in the fruit. Shape into a log and cut into 10 pieces depending on how big or smaller you prefer. Roll into balls making sure to keep the tops smooth. Set onto a lined baking sheet. They should be about an inch apart. Cover with a tea towel allowing to prove a second time for 1/2 an hour.
During this time preheat your oven to 200C /400F and bake the buns for 15 minutes and golden brown.
Meanwhile for the glaze dissolve the sugar and water over a low heat. When the buns are ready brush the glaze over generously and let cool. While you are waiting make your icing and either using a piping bag or just free hand, cross the buns. Finished! Enjoy!

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