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Recipe: Prune and Orange Hot Cross Buns

As a master baker and judge of ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery, Peter Sidwell knows a thing or two about hot cross buns, as this fragrant and delicious recipe testifies.

Ingredients:

(makes six larger buns or ten smaller buns)

 

For the buns
25g unsalted butter
500g strong flour (50:50 white and wholemeal), plus extra white flour for dusting
7g yeast & salt
50g caster sugar
150ml milk
50ml water
200ml green tea
140g California Prunes, finely chopped
50g candied orange peel, finely chopped
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
3 cardamom pods (seeds only)
 

For the crosses and glazing
1 egg, beaten, for glazing
75g flour
4-5 tbsp water
Runny honey to glaze

 

1 Remove the bowl from your stand mixer, then add the butter and flour. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips to form fine breadcrumbs. Add the yeast, salt and sugar, then stir to combine everything together.

2 In a jug, mix together the milk, water and boiled green tea, make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the liquid. Put the mixing bowl back on the stand mixer, then use the dough hook to combine wet and dry ingredients into a ball.

3 Knead the dough in the mixer for 10 minutes until smooth and stretchy. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for one hour until doubled in size.

4 Prepare the fruit and spices, then scoop the risen dough out of the bowl and stretch it over the work surface until the size of A4 paper. Scatter the spices and fruit over the dough, then fold in on itself, kneading gently to distribute throughout the dough.

5 Portion off the dough and, on a lightly floured surface, roll into balls – either six large or 10 small. Place on a floured baking tray, 1-2cm apart, and leave in a warm place for about an hour until doubled in size again.

6 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the buns with beaten egg.

7 To make the crosses, make a smooth paste with the flour and water (add 4tbsp first and only add the rest if you think it needs it), put into a plastic piping bag and pipe onto each bun, then bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven.

8 Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then brush glaze with runny honey, before leaving to cool completely.

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