I made my dough in the bread machine, it never lets me down. The recipe is from one of my favourite books - The Bread Book by Sara Lewis. There are instructions for making by hand or using a bread machine. Also, comprehensive step by step instructions to guide you, if you have never made a loaf with a bread machine. Shaping techniques and baking know-how are also included in the book.
The crosses are easy to pipe, but the flour and water paste is pretty unpleasant. My husband had to try his best to get the stuff into a disposable piping bag for me, it's a two man job, one holding the piping bag and the other trying to get the paste from the bowl into the bag. Don't even be tempted to use a reusable bag because you will regret it! I think it's best if I draw a veil over what the paste looks like, it tastes good though.
My buns were light and spicy, the glaze was lovely and sticky. They don't contain the dreaded peel, but I think I would grind some peel with granulated sugar next time, they could have done with a hint of citrus and a few more raisins would have been good too.
They are perfect fresh, freeze well and are fabulous toasted. Now I have a freezer of very sticky Hot Cross Buns.