Hot cross buns

Makes 12
For the dough
500g strong bread flour
2 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground nutmeg
7g sachet easy-blend yeast
50g golden caster sugar
1¼ tsp salt
50g butter, cut into small pieces
100g currants
50g chopped mixed peel
1 egg
100ml milk
150ml warm water

For the cross
60g plain flour
3-4 tbsp water

For the glaze
25g golden caster sugar
50ml water

To make the dough, sift the flour and spices into a large mixing bowl and stir in the yeast, sugar and salt. Rub in the butter, then stir in the currants and mixed peel. Beat the egg with a fork until broken up and frothy, then beat in the milk. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add the milk mixture and enough water to mix to a soft dough. Add the remaining water if needed. Turn out the dough and knead well for 5 mins, until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat the dough in the oil. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for 1½ hours until doubled in size.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, lightly kneading again. Grease two baking sheets. Divide the dough into 12, rolling each piece into a ball. Place on the baking sheet and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
To make the cross, sift the flour into a bowl and stir in sufficient water to mix to a soft paste. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and snip off the end. Pipe a cross on each bun.
Bake the buns for 15 mins in a preheated oven at 220°C/gas mark 7. Meanwhile prepare the glaze. Place the sugar and water in a small pan and heat, gently stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the buns are cooked transfer to a wire rack placed over a tray or baking sheet. Brush with the glaze while still hot.
The buns are best eaten on the day they are made. They can be frozen for up to two months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and warm in the oven at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 5 mins.

Other hot cross bun flavours:

• Earl Grey
• Cranberry and orange
• Rosemary and sultana
• Pecan and marzipan