Hands-on time 1hr, plus proving.
Cooking time 18min. Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 300g (11oz) strong white bread flour, plus extra to dust
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 25g (1oz) cold
  • unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra to grease
  • 50g (2oz) caster sugar
  • Finely grated zest of ó lemon
  • 1 x 7g sachet fastaction dried yeast
  • 170ml (6fl oz)
  • semi-skimmed
  • milk, plus a dash, more if needed
  • 1 medium egg
  • 75g (3oz) sultanas or mixed fruit for the cross topping
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 1tbsp golden syrup, to glaze

Method:

1. Put the strong flour, mixed spice, butter and ótsp salt into a food processor, and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers.

2. Add the sugar, lemon zest and yeast and pulse again (or stir) to combine. Empty the mixture into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Gently heat the milk until it’s just warm, then add the milk and egg to the flour bowl and stir quickly to make a soft dough. If the mixture feels too dry, you can add a little more cold milk.
3. Dust a work surface with flour, then knead the dough for 5min or until elastic. Transfer dough to a large, lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film, and leave in a warm place to rise for 1hr.

4. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead in the sultanas (you may need to flour the work surface again). Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 30min.

5. Lightly grease a baking sheet with butter. Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball, then flatten slightly. Arrange the balls on the baking sheet, spacing them a little apart. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 45min.

6. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan) mark 7. To make the cross topping, put the flour into a small bowl and mix in just enough cold water to give it a smooth, pipeable consistency (about 2tbsp). Put the flour mixture into a piping bag (no need for a nozzle), snip off the tip and, working quickly, pipe a cross on top of each bun.

7. Bake the buns for 15-18min, or until golden and risen. As soon as they come out of the oven, brush with golden syrup. Then allow to cool completely on a wire rack – or eat warm with lashings of butter.

Courtesy of The Good Housekeeping Institute Cookery School

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