1/2 cup (90 g) light muscovado sugar (or light brown sugar)
4.5 oz (125 g) raisins
5 cups (625 g) strong white bread flour
1/4 oz (7 g) easy blend yeast
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
For the crosses
1/2 cup (60 g) plain flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
For the glaze
1 tablespoon boiling water
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Combine the milk, butter, orange zest, cardamom pods and cloves in a small saucepan and gently heat until the butter has melted.
Add the brown sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
Add the raisins, and leave the mixture to cool until it is lukewarm (about 37°C or 98°F).
Remove the cardamom pods and cloves.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground ginger.
Slowly mix the butter mixture into the flour mixture, and then add one egg at a time.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is elastic in texture. If you have a KitchenAid or other stand mixer, you can knead the dough using the dough hook for about 10 minutes on medium-high speed.
Lightly oil a large bowl.
Place the dough into the bowl, cover with a teatowel, and leave it to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. I like to do this in an oven at 50°C or 120°F.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it back with your fist to release some of the air, and then gently knead the dough into a ball.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions.
Roll each portion of dough into a ball and place them on a tray lined with baking paper.
Cover the balls of dough with a teatowel and return the tray to a warm place to prove for 30 minutes or until the balls of dough have slightly risen.
Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). If you have been using the oven to prove the buns, make sure you have taken them out of the oven by this step!
To make the crosses, mix together the flour and water until you have a thick paste.
Fill a small piping bag with the paste, or a small plastic bag and snip off the corner.
Pipe a cross onto each bun. I do this by piping a line horizontally across the buns, and then vertically.
Bake the buns for 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden.
Meanwhile, make the glaze by heating the water and sugar together in a small saucepan until it comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved.
Brush the glaze over the buns as soon as you take them out of the oven.
Serve the hot cross buns with a generous spread of butter. Any leftover buns can be stored in the freezer and toasted before serving.