One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns

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Method

Step 1

Bring 300ml full-fat milk to the boil. Remove from the heat and add 50g butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put 500g strong bread flour, 1 tsp salt, 75g lo han blend and 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture. Then add 1 beaten egg. Mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.

Step 2

Lightly flour a surface to then knead the bread. Repeat this for 5 minutes untill the dough in smooth and elastic. Pop the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Covered with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in size and when a finger pressed into it it leaves a dent.

Step 3

Tip in 75g sultanas, 50g mixed peel, zest of 1 orange, 1 finely chopped apple and 1 tsp ground cinnamon into the bowl. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.

Step 4

Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece). Roll each piece into a smooth ball onto a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment. Leave enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel. Set aside to prove for 1 hr more.

Step 5

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix 75g plain flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown.

Step 6

Squeeze juice of the lemon into a pan along with the lo han honey. Gently heat for a few minutes over. a low-medium heat. Whilst mixture is still warm, bush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.

Ingredients

For the buns

  • 300ml full-fat milk, plus 2 tbsp more
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75g lo han blend (or 1/t tbsp golden lo han guo)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 75g sultanas
  • 50g mixed peel
  • zest 1 orange
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the cross

  • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the glaze

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One Comment

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