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Traditional English Recipe - Hot Cross Buns

Traditionally eaten at Easter.

Ingredients (Makes about twelve buns)

1lb Strong bread flour
1tsp. Salt
1tsp. Mixed spice
1tsp. Cinnamon
2oz Butter
2 tsp Easy blend dried yeast
3oz Raisins or sultanas
1 Zest of orange or lemon
2oz Caster sugar
8 fl oz Milk
1 Free Range egg
1 Vanilla pod split and the seeds removed (keep the split halves for the glaze)

For the Crosses:
4tbs Flour
4tbs Water

For the Glaze:
2tbs Sugar
4tsp Milk
2 Vanilla pod halves


  1. Sift the flour, salt and spices into a large bowl and rub in the butter.
  2. Mix in the yeast, vanilla seeds,sultanas, zest and sugar.
  3. Warm the milk gently for two minutes while whisking in the egg, then add to the flour mixture.
  4. Knead this dough on to a floured surface for 10 mins and divide into 12 balls.
  5. Place on a baking tin, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours (till double in size).


  1. Mix the flour with about 3-4 tablespoons of water to make a thick batter.
  2. Carefully drizzle a cross over each bun, practice first, or use a piping bag.
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes at gas mark 5 / 90 degrees C.


  1. Heat the milk, vanilla halves and the sugar, until the sugar has dissolved then brush each bun two or three times while it cools on a wire rack.

  2. Definitions:-

    To bake: To cook in an oven.

    To brush: To cover food with an even layer of liquid by applying it with a pastry brush, eg brush the pastry with beaten egg or milk to glaze.

    To dissolve: To mix dry ingredient with liquid until in solution.

    To drizzle: To pour a liquid over other ingredients, usually in a random design and often as a finishing decorative touch.

    To fold: A method of gently mixing ingredients. Usually egg whites or whipped cream are folded into a heavier mixture, for a souffle, cake, or pie filling. The lighter mixture is placed on top of the heavier mixture, then the two are combined by passing a spatula down through the mixture, across the bottom, and up over the top. This process continues until the mixtures are combined. This traps air into bubbles in the product, allowing baked goods to rise.

    To glaze: A glaze is used to give desserts a smooth and/or shiny finish.

    To knead: To work a dough by hand, using a folding-back and pressing-forward motion.

    To melt: Use a high temperature to turn a fat into liquid.

    To mix: To beating or stir foods together until they are combined.

    To rub in: A method of incorporating fat into flour by rubbing the fat with the fingertips until it combines with the flour to form a mixture with a breadcrumb-like consistency, eg rub the butter into the flour and add enough cold water to form a smooth dough. Pastry, scones, cakes and biscuits are made using the rub in method.

    To sift: To put dry ingredients such as flour or sugar through a sifter or mesh screen to loosen particles and incorporate air.

    To whisk: To beat a mixture vigorously with a whisk.

    Zest: Sometimes known as peel or rind, the coloured outer layer of citrus rind eg lemon, orange or lime, that contains the essential oil that gives the fruit its distinctive flavour. A small amount of zest gives a strong characteristic flavour of the fruit..

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