Hot Cross Buns

Recipe from What's For Lunch, Honey?  

Ingredients

14g dry active yeast or 30g fresh yeast
500g white flour for bread, plus more for dusting
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground mixed spices - I used cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg, cloves and ginger 
40g butter
200g raisins

Pastry for the crosses:
30g flour
1/4 teaspoon sugar

For the glaze
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon gelatine powder


Method

Prepare a baking sheet by lightly greasing it.

In a small bowl incorporate the yeast, 2 teaspoons flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and 125 ml luke warm water well. Cover with a with a damp cloth and place in warm place for about 10 minutes to activate the yeast. After the 10 minutes your yeast mixture should be frothy and bubbly. If this is not the case this means that your yeast is too old and you will have to proof it again with fresh yeast.

In a larger bowl sift the flour and the spices, then mix in the sugar. Add the butter and knead with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Throw in the raisins. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture and 185ml water. Using your hands gently mix in the flour into the yeast mixture. Knead into a smooth dough.

Dust the countertop lightly with some flour then tip out the dough and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth. Dust a large bowl with flour. Shape a ball out of the dough and place into the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Place in a warm place for 30-40 minutes until the dough has doubled in volume.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Tip the dough onto the counter and give it another good kneading. Divide into 12 equal parts, then roll each portion into a ball and place on the greased baking tray. Place each ball of dough so that they are touching each other. Cover the tray with a damp cloth and allow to rest in a warm place for another 20 minutes. They balls of dough will double in volume again.

Pastry for the crosses:
Mix the flour, sugar and 2 1/2 tablespoons water into a thick, smooth paste-like mixture. Fill into a piping bag or a small sandwich bag with a slight cut at one of the corners. Now pipe crosses onto the buns.

Slide the baking tray into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

For the glaze
In the meantime prepare the glaze by mixing the sugar, 1 tablespoon water and the gelatine powder in a small saucepan. Mix until dissolved. On low heat heat the mixture until the mixture is smooth.

When the buns come out of the oven brush the buns while still hot with the glaze.

Allow to cool. The best way to enjoy the buns are cut, toasted and with lots of good butter. Hmmmn! You can serve these for a Easter breakfast or brunch.