Hot Cross Buns
For Good Friday

 
These are traditionally served for breakfast, but are also delicious at tea-time. Hot Cross buns originated as Good Friday is a day of fasting. The buns were given out at church for people facing a long walk home on empty stomachs. Originally plain bread rolls, marked with a cross, they acquired spices and fruit as years went by.

One packet dried yeast
1 lb. self-raising flour
2 oz. white sugar
½ teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 oz. butter
2 oz. raisins
2 oz. currants or sultanas
Warm water

For the crosses: 1 oz. flour, a little cold water

Rub the butter into the flour and add the sugar and spices. Stir in the dried yeast, and then the fruit. Now add warm water bit by bit and knead the mixture so that it becomes firm dough. You may need to add a little extra flour if it gets too sticky.

On a floured board, divide the dough into small buns, and place these on a greased tray. The mixture should be sufficient for about a dozen buns.

Make the crosses for the buns: mix flour and water in a bowl to form a pastry. Roll out dough and cut into thin strips. Place these across the buns to form crosses.

Leave the buns side up on their baking-tray, covered with a clean cloth, in a warm place for 40 minutes. They should rise and double in size. Preheat oven to gas mark 6, 400 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes.

After you remove them from the oven, make a sugar glaze by stirring a generous tablespoon of sugar into a couple of tablespoons of water over low heat until the sugar melts. Brush this over the buns as they cool.

 

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