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Hot Cross Buns

A selection of fun and tasty recipes for you to make this Easter…

Ingredients:

1 cup milk; 2 tbsp yeast; 1/2 cup sugar; 2 tsp salt; 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled; 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon; 1/2 tsp nutmeg; 4 eggs; 5 cup flour; 1 1/3 cup currants or raisins; 1 egg white.

Glaze:

1 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar; 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped lemon zest; 1/2 tsp lemon extract; 1-2 tbsp milk.

Method:

Heat milk to very warm, but not hot in a small saucepan. Pour warm milk into a bowl and sprinkle yeast over. Mix to dissolve and leave for five minutes.

Stirring constantly, add sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs. Gradually mix in flour, dough will be wet and sticky.

Continue kneading until smooth, about five minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough 'rest' for 30-45 minutes.

Knead again until smooth and elastic, for about three more minutes.

Add currants or raisins and knead until well mixed.

At this point, dough will still be fairly wet and sticky. Shape dough into a ball, place in a buttered dish, cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in the refrigerator.

Let dough sit at room temperature for about a half-hour. Line a large baking pan (or pans) with parchment paper.

Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape each portion into a ball and place on baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 400F.

When buns have risen, take a sharp knife and carefully slash buns with a cross. Brush them with egg white and place in oven.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F, then bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more.

Transfer to a wire rack. Whisk together glaze ingredients, and spoon over buns in a cross pattern. Serve warm, if possible.

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