Hot Cross Buns
Ingredients
Candied Orange Peel
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl stir together milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Let mixture stand 5 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. Into a large bowl sift together flour, allspice, cinnamon, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Cut butter into bits and with your fingertips or a pastry blender blend into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Lightly beat 2 whole eggs. Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in yeast and egg mixture, along with orange and lemon zest. Stir mixture until a dough is formed. Transfer dough to a floured surface and with floured hands knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  4. Knead in currants, raisins and orange peel.
  5. Transfer dough to an oiled large bowl and turn to coat. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Divide dough into 24 pieces. Roll into balls and place on baking sheet, at least 1 1/2 inches apart. Cut a cross in the top of each one, using the tips of a pair of scissors.
  7. Let buns rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
  8. While buns are rising, lightly beat remaining egg with superfine sugar to make an egg glaze.
  9. Brush buns with egg glaze. Bake buns in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 12 minutes.
  10. Transfer buns to a rack to cool slightly. Eat and enjoy!
Candied Orange Peel
  1. Rinse the aranges
  2. Cut the top and bottom off each orange and score the skin into quarters.
  3. Remove the skin and cut the skin into strips about ¼” wide. Eat the remaining fruit sooner than later.
  4. Place the strips of peel in a large saucepan and cover with cold water.
  5. Set on the stove on high heat and bring to a boil. Drain the water from the peels and repeat this process twice more.
  6. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and ¾ cup water. Bring to a simmer. Let the mixture cook for 8-9 minutes at a constant simmer.
  7. Add the peel and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain the simmer. Avoid stirring, as this will cause crystallization. If necessary, swirl the pan to make sure that all of the peels get covered with the syrup. At the end of this period, the peels should be translucent.
  8. Drain any remaining syrup from the peels and set aside for other use (perhaps tea?!) There will probably be only a tablespoon or two of syrup left. Spread the peels out on a drying rack or in a pie plate sprinkled with sugar and leave to dry for 4-5 hours. Store in an airtight container.