About this recipe:These are wonderful eaten hot, almost straight from the oven and smothered with butter. Preferably accompanied by a hot cuppa and some good company. Or they can be toasted and eaten later and they are just as good eaten cold. They smell gorgeous while cooking. Make double the amount and once cooled they can be frozen.
In a large bowl mix together the bread flour, 40g caster sugar, salt, cinnamon and mixed spice. Add the yeast, warm milk, beaten egg, 1 knob of butter (you can use 1 tablespoon of oil instead) and the sultanas. Mix to form a soft dough.
If using an electric mixer with a dough hook, continue on a slow speed for 8 to 10 minutes. If mixing by hand, turn out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, then place the dough in an oiled bowl.
Cover with a clean damp cloth or oiled cling film, and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto an oiled surface and knock back. Then divide into 6 to 8 pieces. Place the pieces on a greased baking tray lined with baking parchment and leave to rise until doubled in size again, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
In the meantime, make the paste for the crosses by combining the plain flour, 2 tablespoons of the water and oil. Place in a piping bag or a small sandwich bag with a small hole cut in the corner.
Once the buns have risen again, pipe thin crosses onto them and brush them all with 1 knob of butter, melted.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until they are golden and still slightly soft.
Meanwhile, make the sugar glaze by placing the remaining water and the remaining 100g caster sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, and simmer for about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes until clear and the sugar has completely dissolved.
Remove the buns from the oven and place on a wire rack, and while still hot coat them with the thin sugar glaze. Serve warm, or allow to cool before enjoying.
Instead of sultanas, you could use raisins, currants, or mixed peel, or any combination. Also the sugar glaze can be flavoured with orange juice or similar.