• 2 tablespoons active dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) milk, warmed
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 500 g (1 lb) strong bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 125 g (4 oz) currants
  • 40 g (1½ oz) chopped mixed peel
  • 75 g (3 oz) ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk and water

Blend the yeast and sugar into the warmed milk and water. Stir into 125 g (4 oz) of the flour and leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes. Sift the remaining flour into a bowl, add the salt, spices and caster sugar.

Add the butter and egg to the yeast mixture. Stir this into the flour and mix well. Add the dried fruit and mix to a fairly soft dough. Add a little water if necessary.

Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead well. Place in an oiled plastic bag and allow to rise for 1–1½ hours at room temperature until doubled in size. Turn out on to a floured surface and knead with your knuckles to knock out the air bubbles.

Divide the dough and shape into 12 round buns. Flatten each slightly then space well apart on floured baking sheets. Cover and put in a warm place again to rise for 20–30 minutes until doubled in size. Meanwhile, thinly roll out the pastry and cut it into 24 thin strips about 8 cm (3½ inches) long.

Dampen the strips and lay 2, damp side down, in a cross over each bun. Bake in a preheated oven, 190°C (375°F), Gas Mark 5, for 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm.

Make the glaze. Dissolve the sugar in the milk and water mixture over a low heat. Brush the cooked buns twice with the glaze, then serve hot, split and buttered.

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