These are great for morning coffee or a picnic. You can make the mixture into buns or a loaf. Put a flour paste cross on them before baking and call them hot cross buns.
This recipe is based on one by Daniel Stevens.
Makes 10 buns or 1 loaf (2lb loaf tin)
550g white flour (I use a mixture of strong bread flour and 00 flour (often labelled pizza flour), it is also nice if you substitute the white flour with about 75g wholemeal flour)
125ml warm water
125ml warm milk
1 level tsp dried easy bake yeast
1 level tsp salt
50 g caster sugar
1 large egg beaten
50g butter soft
100g dried fruit (either currants, cranberries, sultanas, raisins, chopped figs or a mixture)
zest of 1/2 orange
1/4tsp ground allspice
pinch ground cloves
1/4tsp ground coriander
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp grated nutmeg
1 tbs apricot jam and 1 tbs water
- Add the sugar, salt, spices and yeast to the flour in a large bowl. Mix together and make a well in the centre.
- To the well add the warmed milk and water, orange zest and beaten egg. Blend together, I use my fingers. The mixture is fairly sticky.
- Add the dried fruit and butter and knead together.
- Place on a floured surface and knead. This is sticky, but try not to add too much more flour – be patient, it will become less sticky.
- After about 10 minutes the mixture should be silky looking.
- Place in a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave in a warmish place.
- When doubled in size (anything from 1 to 2 hours), return to a floured work surface and knead briefly, to knock all the air out.
- Divide into 10 pieces and form into smooth round buns. Place on a lightly floured tray and cover with a damp tea-towel. Leave ample room for the buns to double in size without touching each other. (If making a loaf, knead to a smooth loaf shape and place in a greased (sunflower oil), 2lb loaf tin, cover with a damp tea-towel).
- Preheat oven to 200C, 400F, gas 6.
- Once doubled in size, gently transfer the buns to a lightly greased baking sheet, place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes. The loaf will take about 40 minutes.
- Whilst in the oven, mix apricot jam and water and warm through gently.
- Both buns and loaf are cooked when they sound hollow on the bottom when wrapped gently with knuckles. Once cooked place on cooling rack.
- Immediately glaze with the apricot jam and water.
These are delicious when still warm with just butter. Some homemade jam would be delicious too.
If you would like to make hot cross buns, just before you put the risen buns in the oven, pipe some water and flour paste in the shape of the cross on top of each bun.(Mix 1 tbs flour with about 2tbs water to make a smooth paste, place in piping bag with very thin nozzle or make one with greaseproof paper). Bake as above.