Allow three hours to include rising time. Makes 16 buns.
1.5 tsp dried yeast
5 fl oz warm milk
1 oz caster sugar
12 oz strong white flour
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground or grated cinnamon
1 tsp ground or grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3 oz currants or mixed fruit – chopped a bit finer
Grated zest of one lemon
2 oz butter, diced
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp flour and 1 tsp water mixed to form a paste - for the cross
1 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp boiling water mixed - to glaze
Stir together the warmed milk, the sugar and yeast in a small jug or bowl.
Warm a large metal bowl gently for a few minutes on a low heat or in the oven, then put in the flour. Mix in the other dry ingredients – the spices, fruit, salt and lemon zest and rub in the butter.
Create a well in the flour and add the milk mixture, then the beaten egg. Mix the ingredients until well incorporated. Knead for ten minutes until a good smooth dough is formed. Cover with greased cling film or a clean damp cloth and leave until double in size (usually about two hours depending on room temperature)
When risen knock back the dough and knead for a further two minutes. Cut into sixteen equal pieces and roll into bun shapes. Put on baking parchment on a metal baking sheet a few cm apart and cut a cross into the top with a sharp knife. Leave covered to double in size.
Preheat oven to 375/190 Gas Mark 5. Just before cooking dribble the flour and water paste across the cut. Cook in centre of oven for 15 – 20 minutes until the buns are golden brown. Remove from oven and glaze immediately with the sugar water glaze.