I have had one complaint with the hot cross buns I have found here in the states... they all have crosses made out of icing. The only way to eat a hot cross bun in my opinion is toasted and buttered, throw a slice of english cheddar on there and and it's even better, but toasted is a must, and that's why I have issues with the icing crosses. So I was very excited to see that Corina's recipe had the crosses made the traditional way with flour and water and baked onto the bun.
After looking at the recipe I realised that one thing missing that I know is in English buns was mixed peel. Now I know I am not going to find that here in Houston, and I also couldn't find currants, so I had to make do with lemon and orange zest and raisins. I was definitely concerned that the substitutions would affect the flavour, but as soon as I started kneading the dough I could smell that familiar hot cross bun smell. I knew they would be good, and I have definitely been enjoying my first batch of toasted Emglish hot cross buns in 13 years!
500g plain flour
300ml whole milk
1 egg beaten
zest of an orange
zest of a lemon
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
apricot jam for glazing
2 tbsp flour
Bring the milk to a boil, remove from heat and leave until just warm. Add the yeast and sugar.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, butter and egg. Slowly add the milk mixture until a soft dough forms.
Add the sultanas/raisins, orange and lemon zests and cinnamon.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and leave to rise for one hour.
Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back, tip out onto a floured surface and divide into 12 pieces, roll each onto a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave to rise for 1 more hour.
Heat the oven to 350.
To make the crosses mix the flour with enough water to make a thick paste, pipe the crosses onto the buns and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Melt some apricot jam and once the buns come out of the oven, glaze them with the warm jam.