First you make a basic Bun Dough with:
450g white bread flour
25g fresh yeast
110ml boiling water
1 egg, lightly beaten
For Hot Cross Buns add spices with flour
1tsp each of cinnamon,nutmeg and mixed spice
Put flour, salt and spices into warm mixing bowl. Crumble yeast into bowl, adding 1 tsp of the sugar and 100g of flour. Measure milk in jug and add boiling water to make up to 220ml of liquid. Mix this liquid into the flour etc with wooden spoon, slowly at first to prevent lumps. Leave to froth up (15mins plus). In another bowl mix rest of sugar with flour and rub in butter. Add egg and frothy yeast mixture. Mix into a dough, knead for about 10mins adding extra flour if necessary until dough is smooth ball, not sticky.
Wash main bowl, dry and grease and place dough in it. Cover (shower cap works well) and leave until double the original size. Could be 2 or more hours. When the dough has risen, knock it down and add
75g raisins or currants
50g chopped candied peel.
Roll the dough into sausage shape on floured surface and cut into 15-18 slices. Shape them into round buns and place them on lined baking sheets. Brush the buns with beaten egg and using short crust pastry (50g should be sufficient) make the crosses on the buns. Prove for 15-30 minutes.
Bake at F450/C230 for 10-15mins until browned.
Make a glaze with 50g sugar and about 50ml of water by boiling ingredients together for 2-3 minutes and brushing over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven. This and the short crust pastry crosses improves the appearance quite dramatically.
The basic bun mix can also be made into Chelsea and Bath buns