Mmm. I made a double batch of Paul Hollywood’s hot cross buns last night. Of course, I tweaked it to my preferred specifications, including tripling the cinnamon, adding a tsp of ground cloves, (I would have added nutmeg too, but we’re out – US grocery stores don’t sell that useful blend, “mixed spice.”) and tripled the candied orange peel (again, I’ve never seen “mixed peel” here, in fact, I can only get the orange and citron kinds, and only around Christmas; they’ve been in my freezer, waiting for this day.) I also added the spices into the hot milk, instead of kneading into the proved dough with the fruit. I don’t think I scalded the milk last year, but I did this year, and I think it’s made quite a difference.
I also baked them in a rimmed pan, quite close together, so they touched as they baked, giving them lovely soft sides.
Sadly, my crosses didn’t come out. I didn’t make enough, and the second batch pretty much disappeared on baking – too much icing sugar, I think. In the past, I’ve had good luck with a paste of flour, icing sugar and a pinch of baking powder, so it puffs a bit.
And, I glazed with golden syrup instead of apricot jam. Much nicer! Despite the crappy crosses, I think they look delicious!
In Australia, you can buy these in every bakery, every supermarket, from January through to around May. I miss them!