Prepare your Stand Mixer with the dough hook attachment & a lightly greased & lined 22cm square cake pan.
Combine flour, sugar, yeast, spices, sultanas, mixed peel, orange rind & sea salt into the bowl. Gently warm milk & butter over a low heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Turn off the heat & whisk the egg into the milk mixture.
Gradually add warmed milk mixture & knead on low speed for 4-5 minutes, finishing with a quick knead on the workbench. Place dough in a lightly oiled glass bowl, cover with cling wrap & place in a warm place for an hour or until almost doubled in size.
‘Knock back’ the dough & cut into 16 equal pieces (half/half,etc). Knead each piece into a ball, place in tin, cover & stand in a warm place until risen.
Preheat oven to 220°C. Combine flour, caster sugar & water to make a thick, smooth paste then place in a piping or zip lock bag & snip off the corner. Pipe lines down the centre of each row of your prepared buns in order to form a cross. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the oven to 200°C & bake for another 10-15 minutes until a warm golden colour. The trick here is they should sound hollow when tapped.
While your hot cross buns are in the oven, prepare your glaze. Place water, sugar & spices in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat & simmer for a further 4-5 minutes to a syrup, then take off the heat. Brush glaze over the buns freshly out of the oven, then cool on a wire rack.
Tips & Hints:
Megann's Kitchen Notes
:: If you notice that your dough isn’t rising, try a warmer part of your house to help activate the yeast. The ideal temp is 27 degrees! I sometimes turn on my gas stove for a few minutes to heat up the metal grill, then turn it off & place the dough mixture of hot cross buns on top allowing the heat radiate from cast iron claws underneath them.
:: Always check the expiry date of your yeast, it may still rise just not to its full potential.
:: The best way to serve Megann's delicious Hot Cross Buns is to toast under the grill until a dark golden colour with a generous slathering of butter. YUM!
:: For more essential top Megann's Kitchen advice, follow onto the Megann's Kitchen web site at megannskitchen.blogspot.com.au ::