175 g dried mixed fruit
Zest of one orange and one lemon, chopped small
3 teaspoons mixed spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 sachet of fast action yeast
175 g sugar
600 g strong white bread flour
75 g unsalted butter
300 ml warm milk
1 egg beaten mixed with a few drops of milk, for brushing
for the cross:
50 g plain flour
1 tablespoon melted butter
a little cold water
In a small bowl place the yeast 15 g sugar and 4 tablespoons of the warm milk. (milk should be around room temperature) leave to stand for 5 minutes.
In another bowl mix together the mixed dried fruit and the orange and lemon zest, set aside.
In a large mixer bowl place the flour, 110 g sugar, salt, mixed spice, nutmeg, cinnamon and softened butter, mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture and the remaining milk. Mix to form a sticky dough, adding a little more milk if the mixture is too dry. With a dough hook knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. This can also be done by hand on a floured surface. Add the fruit mixture and knead until this is all combined. Cover the bowl with a clean teatowel or oiled clingfilm and set aside in a warm, draught-free place until doubled in size. This will take around one hour. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and ‘knock back’. Form a long roll shape and cut into around 14-16 pieces. Shape into balls and place on a greased baking tray (or line the tray with baking parchment), almost touching. Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave in a warm, draught-free place to double in size. Again this will take around one hour.
Pre-heat oven, 230°C, fan assisted ovens 210°C, Gas 8.
Mix the 50g flour, melted butter and 4 tablespoons water to form a paste. Place the paste into a piping bag with a plain nozzle.Brush the buns with the egg and milk mixture. Pipe a cross onto the tops of each bun and place into the oven. Bake for 5 minutes before reducing the temperature to 190°C, fan assisted ovens 170°C, Gas 5 and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until golden brown and risen. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. While the buns are cooling place the remaining 50g sugar with 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan over a gentle heat until dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Brush the tops of the buns to glaze and leave to cool completely before eating.
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