I have posted some details below regarding production of English Hot Cross Buns.
HOT CROSS BUNS
Makes: a, 45 buns @ 65g each; b, 12 buns @ 80g each
[% of flour]
Strong White Bread Flour
Water @ 38°C
2. FINAL DOUGH
Ferment [from above]
Strong White Bread Flour
3. CROSSING PASTE
4. STOCK SYRUP
Oven Profile: Deck oven; 190°C for 10 - 12 minutes top heat 5, bottom heat 5. Dampers are closed, no steam used.
In a large bowl, and crumble and dissolve the yeast into the warm water, then whisk in the sugar and flour to form a batter. Cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place for half an hour.
In the meantime, prepare baking sheets lined with silicone paper and weigh up all materials, ready to be mixed as follows:
Weigh the dried fruit into a separate container.
Weigh all the other ingredients for the final dough directly into the mixing bowl. You need to use the strong flour to ensure the high liquid content is taken up.
Attach a dough hook, add the ferment to the mixing bowl contents, and mix for 2 minutes on slow speed to form a soft dough. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all materials come together in the mixer.
Turn the mixer onto a higher speed; no more than 3rd speed should be necessary, and mix for 8 minutes to form a smooth, elastic and soft dough. This dough is very soft, so care is needed to ensure thorough scraping of the sides of the bowl. Mixing should result in the soft dough eventually pulling away from the bowl to allow the hook to do the development work needed. It is quite difficult to mix this dough by hand, but a Kenwood Mixer, or a Kitchen Aid should do the job providing the scraping down is thorough.
Take the dough off the mixer and store in a bowl lined with a little shortening to condition the dough. Allow up to half an hour for this.
Place the dough on the bench, spread it out and pile the fruit on top of the dough. Fold the dough over the fruit to encase it. Then, take a scotch cutter and cut the fruit into the dough until it is very evenly distributed [see attached photo; this is an excellent way to add fruit without damaging either the fruit pieces, or the strength of the dough].
Scale the dough off into 65g pieces, and mould each piece round.
Place the dough pieces close together on a baking sheet so they will kiss, and batch together when they bake [6 x 3 on the baking sheets normally used]. Brush with a little milk if you like, or beaten egg for extra colour. The glaze at this stage will particularly help if you have no enclosed prover.
Set to prove for 40 - 50 minutes at 38°C, 85%rH, in a prover.
Meanwhile make the crossing paste by crumbing the fat with the flour, then whisking this with the water to form a smooth paste [AP will be fine]. Empty the contents into a disposable piping bag with a very small hole cut in the end. Pipe up and down, then across back and forth to form crosses on the top of the buns [see attached photo, and the accompanying video link].
Bake to the specifications above, as soon as the crosses have been piped on. Domestic oven should be set at 195°C [170°C for the ferocious fan oven type]
As the buns bake, dissolve the sugar in the water to make the stock syrup. Bring this to the boil in a pan and remove from the heat.
Brush the baked buns with the hot syrup as soon as they come out of the oven [see attached photo].
Empty the buns, as a batch, from the trays, and cool on wires
Here is a video demonstration of how to pipe the crosses onto the buns prior to baking.