You can make fabulous hot cross buns for your household this Easter, even if you are a beginner, just follow this recipe. It makes 24 spicy fruity buns so is well worth the effort. Not only do they taste better than bought ones, they’re cheaper too.

24 buns:
2 cups warm water
¼ cup condensed milk
1-1/2 sachets instant yeast
5 cups Plain flour
3 tsp mixed spice
3 tsp of cinnamon
½ tsp of salt
1 cup currants or raisins or a mixture
½ cup of mixed peel
50 g (1¾ oz) of softened butter
2 eggs

Blend the water and condensed milk together and stir.
Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl, add the instant yeast and mix in the dried fruit and peel, then make a hole in the centre. Pour in the liquids and the softened butter and eggs. Stir until combined then turn out onto a floured bench and knead it lightly.

This is a moist dough so add extra flour as you knead until the dough is smooth.

Put it in a greased bowl and cover with greased cling film (I spray the inside of a supermarket bag with cooking spray and then pop the bowl in). Leave in a warm place till dough doubles in size, this should take around 40 minutes.

Punch the dough then give it a quick knead. Divide into 24 portions and roll into balls. Place on a greased oven tray and cover with the greased plastic from before. Leave them for around half an hour or until doubled in size.

To make the crosses
½ cup Plain Flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp butter
About 3-5 tablespoons of water

Blend the ingredients together; the mixture needs to be soft enough to be piped. If you haven’t got a piping bag, put the mixture into a plastic bag, squeeze it down to one corner then snip a tiny bit off the corner of the bag so you can squeeze the mix through the hole making crosses on the top of each bun.

Bake at 200°C (400°F) for 15 minutes then brush with sugar glaze and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until they look cooked.

Sugar Glaze
2 tbsp Sugar dissolved in ¼ cup warm water.

Cooks Tip: If like me you have become an Instant Yeast convert then place all the dry ingredients in the bowl, I’d use roughly 1 ½ sachets of instant yeast which you sprinkle in with the dry ingredients then add the liquids and continue in the usual manner.