Hot cross buns are good but in my opinion you can’t beat a toasted teacake slathered in butter. Breakfast, tea, supper – they are a great snack any time, any day.
This recipe, from chef Olivia Potts, is laden with whisky soaked sultanas. They are slippery feckers, always trying to escape when you are mixing them into the dough, but persevere and you will be deliciously rewarded with 8 fat, fruity teacakes just crying out to be toasted.
500g strong white bread flour
30g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
30g golden syrup
10g quick yeast
150ml whole milk
200g mixed peel and sultanas
1 egg, for glazing
Vegetable oil, for kneading
Tip the flour and other dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, making sure the salt and yeast are on opposite sides of the bowl.
Melt the butter, and add the milk and golden syrup; these should be melted and combined, but just warm, not hot. Add these to the mixing bowl, and half of the water. Bring the dough together adding the water until all the flour has been picked up by the dough – you may not need all of the water.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until it is soft and smooth, and loses its wetness. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, clingfilm the bowl, and leave for two hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Meanwhile soak the fruit in the whisky.
Once the dough has proved, turn it out of the bowl and onto a clean surface, lightly oiled with vegetable oil. Flatten the dough, drain the fruit, and tip the fruit into the centre of the dough. Knead the fruit into the dough until it is equally distributed.
Line two trays with silicone mats or baking paper, and divide the dough into eight even pieces. Take each piece and form it into a tight ball by caging your hand over the top of the dough and circling it around and around the dough until it becomes a smooth and taught bun.
Spread the dough balls across the two trays, giving them lots of room to expand, and flatten each with a rolling pin or the palm of your hand, so that it is about half an inch thick. Lightly cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for another hour, until they are doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the clingfilm from the buns, and brush gently with beaten egg. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the buns are burnished gold.
Allow to cool completely on a rack. To serve, cut down the middle of the bun with a bread knife, toast and slather in butter.