(Makes 8 buns)
400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
50g golden caster sugar, plus 1 tsp
1 tsp each mixed spice and ground cinnamon
250ml warm milk
1 medium egg, beaten
50g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
100g raisins or chocolate chips (milk or dark, whatever you prefer)
50g plain flour
For the glaze
2 tbsp apricot jam
- Put the strong flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt in a bowl with the spices and mix. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk, egg and butter. Start mixing with a plastic or wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry add warm water, or extra flour it it’s wet.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and springy.
- Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten. Scatter over the raisins or chocolate chips and knead the dough a few more times. Divide it into 8 even portions.
- Roll each portion into a smooth round and place on a greased baking sheet in 2 rows of 4, leaving room between each bun for it to rise. Cover with a tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 minutes, until almost doubled in size again or just touching.
- Heat the oven the 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
- Mix the plain flour with 1 tsp sugar and 4-5 tbsp water until you have a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe lines on the buns to make crosses. Bake for 20 minutes until they are light brown.
- If you want to enjoy the buns untoasted, gently heat the apricot jam in a pan or the microwave, and brush over the buns using a pastry brush. If you are going to toast them, then don’t glaze them as the jam will burn.