- 1 tablespoon (12 g) instant dried yeast
- 80 g (2¾ oz/⅓ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 625 g (1 lb 6 oz) white strong flour
- 1½ teaspoons mixed (pumpkin pie) spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) warm milk
- 100 g (3½ oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 200 g (7 oz/1⅓ cups) currants
- 70 g (2½ oz/⅓ cup) mixed peel
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1. Sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) warm water in a bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Leave in a draught-free place for 10 minutes.
2. Combine the flour, spices and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the milk, butter, remaining sugar, eggs and 125 g (4½ oz/1 cup) of the flour mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment. Mix for 1 minute, or until smooth. Add the yeast mixture, currants and mixed peel and stir. Add the flour and knead for 5 minutes.
4. Transfer the dough to a bowl and coat in oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Leave to rise in a draught-free place for 1½–2 hours.
5. Knock back the dough by punching it, then turn out onto a floured work surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball, then place on baking trays, spacing the rolls about 4 cm (1½ in) apart. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). To make the glaze, combine the sugar with 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat.
7. To prepare the cross dough, put the flour in a bowl and add 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) water, stirring to form a dough. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface to a 2 mm (⅙ in) thickness. Cut into 5 mm (¼ in) wide strips, about 12 cm (4½ in) long. Brush with water and place two strips over each bun to form a cross. Bake the buns for 15–20 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush the hot buns with the glaze.