(Makes 8 buns)

Ingredients

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

 

Method

  1. 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.
  2. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and springy.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Heat the oven the 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.