HOT CROSS BUNS
1 tsp dried yeast
300g (2½ cups) plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
80g (⅔ cup) dried currants
40g (⅓ cup) LUCKY SLIVERED ALMONDS
25g unsalted butter
150ml full cream milk
1 large egg
2 tbsp caster sugar
6 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp water
1. Combine the yeast, flour, sugar, spices, currants and almonds in a large bowl and mix well.
2. Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan. When melted, add the milk and whisk until the mixture is lukewarm. Take off the heat and beat in the egg.
3. Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork. When too stiff to work, tip the mixture onto a lightly floured bench. Knead for 5 minutes, incorporating any currants or nuts that fall out of the dough back in while kneading.
4. Place the dough in a large, clean bowl, dust it with some flour and cover the bowl with a tea towel. Rest for 1½-2 hours in a warm, draught-free place until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
5. Preheat fan-forced oven to 180°C.
6. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each into a ball (the dough will deflate – this is fine). Arrange on a lightly greased tray. Cover with a tea towel and rest for a further 20 minutes.
7. Uncover the buns and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden. They are cooked when a rap of the knuckles on the bottom of a bun makes a hollow
8. While they are cooking, prepare a glaze by combining the sugar and water in a saucepan over a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves. As soon as the buns are removed from the oven, brush them with the hot sugar glaze.
9. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before mixing the icing sugar with 1 teaspoon of water to make a thick paste. Take a zip-lock bag, fill it with the icing sugar paste and push the mixture to one corner. Snip a small hole in that corner and pipe cross marks on top of each bun. Serve slightly warm.
• These are best eaten on the day they are made or can be frozen for up to 7 days.