Have a hot cross bun whenever the mood takes you, we say. And this version, jammed with fruit and spice and glossy with glaze, is the last word in the ultimate sticky bun.
- 200 gm dried sour cherries (see note)
- 65 gm raw caster sugar
- 14 gm (2 sachets) dried yeast
- 1½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 845 gm plain flour
- 420 ml milk
- 100 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ tsp sunflower oil
- To serve: butter or chocolate hazelnut spread
- 50 gm caster sugar
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 1Combine cherries, sugar, yeast, spices, rinds, 770gm flour and 1 tsp salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low speed to combine. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter melts, set aside to cool slightly, then add egg and whisk. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes; dough will be quite soft). Place in a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (50 minutes to 1 hour).
- 2Knock back dough, divide into 18 even pieces, then roll each piece into a smooth ball. Arrange dough balls in concentric circles on a large baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving 1cm between each for dough to expand. Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
- 3Preheat oven to 220C. Combine remaining flour, sunflower oil and 60ml cold water in a bowl and stir to a smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 200C and bake until buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped (8-10 minutes). Set aside to cool.
- 4For spice glaze, stir sugar, spice and 50ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar, bring to the simmer, then set aside to cool. Brush glaze over buns and serve buns warm or at room temperature with butter or chocolate hazelnut spread. Hot cross buns are best eaten on the day of making.
Note Dried sour cherries are available from select delicatessens.