These lovely spicy buns are always popular now, not only at Easter but throughout the year.
To make twelve buns you will need:
To activate the yeast:
- A quarter of a pint, or 150 ml, of hand-hot water.
- 1 level tbsp of dried yeast.
- 1 tsp of caster sugar.
To make the buns:
- 1 lb, 450 g, of plain strong bread flour.
- 1 level tsp of salt.
- 1 level tsp of mixed spice.
- 2 oz, 50 g, of mixed peel.
- 3 oz, 75 g, of currants.
- 2 oz, 50 g, of caster sugar.
- 1 medium egg.
- 2 and a half tbsps, 50 ml, of lukewarm milk.
- 2 oz, 50 g, melted butter.
For the glaze:
- 2 tbsps of granulated sugar.
- 2 tbsps of water.
- Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 7, 425 f, 220 c, 200 fan.
- You will need to grease either 1 or 2 large baking sheets with slightly raised edges.
Begin by measuring the hand-hot, luke-warm water, into a small jug. Take it straight from your kitchen tap, It should feel just warm to your fingers.
Stir in the teaspoon of caster sugar, then sprinkle in the tablespoon of dried yeast.
Leave on one side until a frothy head has appeared on top, for about 20 minutes.
- While you are waiting, sift the flour, salt, and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the caster sugar, currants and mixed peel.
- Break the egg into a small bowl to make sure it’s fresh and beat well.
- When the yeast is frothy, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour it into the mixing bowl.
- Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave, checking and stirring it regularly, then pour it in.
- Add the beaten egg.
- Heat the milk in a jug in the microwave for a few seconds until just warm, then add this to the mixing bowl.
- Now, mix everything together well. You will notice that the mixture is forming a dough, so use your hands during the final stage of mixing to bring it together into a ball.
Transfer the dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead it well for about 5 minutes.
Please see my section on making bread for more detailed kneading information.
- Now, put the dough back into the mixing bowl and cover it with either a clean tea towel, or lightly greased plastic bag that’s large enough to completely cover the top of the bowl.
Leave it in a warm, but not hot place, until the dough has doubled in size.
My how do I do that, glossary section gives more information.
Don’t be tempted to disturb it for at least an hour or so.
Next, turn your dough back out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it again until it has shrunk back down to its original size.
Don’t worry, you are now going to make the buns and put the dough to rise again.
- Divide the dough into twelve portions, and make them into round, but not too flat, bun shapes in the palms of your hands.
- Place them, well spaced apart, on your greased baking sheets.
- Now, with a small sharp knife, make a cross in the dough through to half the depth on each bun, one slit running centrally from top to bottom and another across the centre running from side to side.
Leave them to rise again in a warm place, lightly covered with the oiled plastic bag or tea towel.
This time it should only take about half an hour or so, when they should be double their size!
- Bake the buns in your pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until firm to the touch and golden brown. If you tap the base of a bun it should sound hollow.
Just as the buns have finished cooking, melt the sugar and water together in the microwave for a few seconds. Stir well, then brush the hot buns all over with this glaze, so that when they cool they will be nice and sticky.
Eat straight away, sliced and spread with butter.
Just the thought of smelling them while they’re cooking and then eating one is making me feel really hungry!