Hot cross bun dough needs yeast to help it rise and produce fluffy buns. Stir the yeast mixture into the flour mixture until really well combined - this stirring action kickstarts the rising process.
A stretchy dough will rise better during baking. Knead the dough until very smooth and elastic. Don't rush - it should take at least 10 mins. The dough is ready if it springs back when lightly pressed.
For super-fluffy buns, the dough needs to prove twice - first for an hour in the bowl, then again for 30 mins in the pan. This allows the dough to expand and aerate, which prevents dense buns.
For tall, square buns, bake them pressed together in a square cake pan. This stops the buns expanding sideways and holds their shape. Baking on a tray works too - the buns will just be rounder in shape.
Worried your flour paste is too thick? Don't be tempted to add extra water - just apply firm pressure as you pipe. Firm flour paste will hold its shape better on the buns and give that iconic cross.
To give the buns their traditional shiny finish, cool the buns slightly before lightly brushing the glaze over the tops. Buns hot from the oven will soak up the gaze, making them soggy.