So it’s Easter. So you really should make these, as they taste good. And if you are one of those people who complains about dried fruit, just don’t put them in or tell people that you don’t like dried fruit.
I made these yesterday, from my own recipe after searching high and low for a good one. Thanks to tips from baker Dan Lepard and others I came up with this. After I made them, I am pretty sure it felt like Easter officially and rabbits appeared from all directions to agree with me.
SO.. here you go:
4 teaspoons (14g) dry yeast
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
1 cup (250ml) mix of 1/2 warm apple juice/1/2 warm water
4 cups (600g) plain flour (or fancy flour if you prefer)
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
80g butter, chopped
1 cup (160g) sultanas (or choc chips if you cannot deal with fruit)
2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed peel (If you like, or not).
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/3 cup (80ml) warm water, approximatelyFLOUR PASTE (Makes the crosses)
1/4 cup (35g) plain flour
2 teaspoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons cold water, approximately
(If you want chocolate ones, add a tablespoon of cocoa powder also)GLAZE (Makes them shiny)
3 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
1. Combine the yeast with one tablespoon of the sugar and all of the apple/water solution in a small bowl; whisk until the yeast is dissolved. Cover the bowl and stand in a warm place (on the door in front of a very slow oven is ideal) for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is frothy. Just be careful as I came back and mine was overflowing with froth. Put a saucer under it and enjoy the cider-like smell.
2. Sift the flour, spices and salt into a large bowl; rub in the butter. Stir in the remaining sugar, fruit, yeast mixture, egg and enough water to make a soft sticky dough. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap and stand in a warm place for about one hour or until mixture is 1.5 times the size. DONT do the typical old rule of double in size.
3. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced). Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled surface (lightly floured adds more flour to the mixture and dries it out) and knead for about 1 minute (to avoid punching out all the air). Divide the dough into 20 portions; quickly form each portion into a ball and roll the dough into a ball. Place the balls, almost touching, on a large greased oven tray. Stand in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until dough is almost 1.5 times in size.
4. FLOUR PASTE: Sift flour and sugar into a small bowl; gradually stir in enough water to make a smooth thick paste. Place the Flour Paste into a resealable plastic bag and snip a tiny piece off one corner. Pipe crosses onto the buns.
5. Bake the buns for about 15 minutes or until buns sound hollow when tapped. Though need to make sure the insides are cooked, so really listen out for the hollow-like sound. Otherwise you end up with dough and disappointment.
6. GLAZE: Meanwhile, combine all ingredients in a small pan and stir over low heat, without boiling, until the sugar is dissolved.
7. Transfer the buns to a wire rack and brush the tops with the Glaze once cooled a little. Dont put too much on that it makes the underneath of the bun soggy.
Cooked buns are suitable to freeze (though I would just eat them all straight away). Glaze suitable to microwave (just in case you thought it had metal in it).