Hot cross buns
I realise it’s entirely the wrong side of Lent for these, but I felt like making them yesterday, so let’s call it practice. This is based on Mary Berry’s recipe, adjusted at whim.
Mix 500g strong white flour, 60g sugar, 7g yeast, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg. Add in 150ml buttermilk, 75ml hot Lady Grey tea, 60g melted butter, 1 egg, 90g raisins and 30g chopped dried apple. Mix to a soft dough. Turn out and knead until elastic, then leave to rise in a covered bowl for a couple of hours.
Turn out and knead again. Divide into 12 pieces and shape them into buns. Put on baking trays, cover, and leave to rise for another half hour.
Mix 75g flour with water until you get a thick paste, and pipe it into crosses on the tops of the buns. (Note: this involves wrestling something roughly the consistency of concrete out of the mutilated corner of a freezer bag if, like me, you do not own a piping bag. Good luck doing it with any kind of delicacy.)
Bake the buns at 220 for 15 minutes. Brush the tops with melted apricot jam to glaze. Feel full of the joys of spring, until you look out of the window.