This is the recipe that I have used for 25 years.The pictures are from the first time that Matthew & Fynn made hot cross buns together this Easter.
2 tbsps surebake yeast
(has added extras that give a consistent result, regular yeast is fine too & fresh yeast is best of all if you can cajole a friendly baker into selling you some!)
2 cups of flour, 1/2 c brown or raw sugar, 50g diced butter
Add: 1c milk then 1 c of boiling water..stir & stand for a few minutes while you get the other ingredients ready
Stir in 1 1/2 tsp good salt, 1egg, 1 c mixed fruit, 1 tbsp cinnamon & 1 tbsp mixed spice
( 1 tsp vanilla opt)
add enough flour from 3 cups to make a soft workable dough
turn out on to a workable surface & knead for 10 minutes until smooth & satiny
adding a little more flour as needed to prevent the dough sticking to everything!
Wonderful! now cover the dough with a warm damp tea towel or glad wrap & leave in a warm place until doubled in size
... turn out on a floured surface & knead again. Cut dough in to 4 pieces & then divide each piece again in to about 7 or 8 & form in to balls. Arrange like this above or in a greased roasting dish..close enough together that when they rise they are touching each other.
Leave in a warm place again (covered) until double once more.
While the buns are proving make the crosses by rubbing 60 gms of cold butter in to 1 c flour then add water to form a stiff dough. Roll very thinly. Then cut into strips.
Dip strips into beaten egg & lay gently on the buns once they have risen.
Bake at 225 o C for 15-20 mins
Glaze immediately with syrup made by boiling 2 tbsps golden syrup with 1 tbsp of water for a minute. (Glaze optional)
Share them with friends & neighbours : )
It's all there..the spices, the crosses, the rising , the sharing...love