These have their origins in a yeasted recipe from Martha Rose Shulman’s “The Bread Book”. They are nothing like woolly supermarket buns with piped crosses. A percentage of wholemeal flour gives them body, made zingy with Elizabeth David’s spice mix, and taken to another level by the sweet/sour honey/lemon glaze.
Elizabeth David’s spice mix is a blend of nutmeg, black pepper (or allspice), cloves, cinnamon and ginger.
Mix together the liquid ingredients and add the (cooled) melted butter. Mix in the dry ingredients and knead using your normal method. If you’re new to baking check out the Sourdough pdf under the Library Menu.
Form into a rough ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover. Allow to ferment for about four hours stretching each hour for the first three hours. This is not essential but will improve the dough structure.
Alternatively ferment overnight in the fridge.
Scale the dough at 80g and form the pieces into rolls. Flatten them slightly. Arrange them loosely on baking parchment on a baking sheet – a pizza tin is ideal for this. Place one roll in the centre and arrange the other five around it with the edges just touching. Cover and leave for 3½-4 hours checking with the finger tip test after 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to about 210C.
Brush the dough with egg white, cut crosses in each of the rolls and bake for about 20 minutes, possibly reducing the heat to 180C if they are colouring too fast.
Brush with a mixture of honey and lemon juice immediately they come out of the oven.
Cool on a wire rack.
Hot Cross Buns in France back in 2007: