About this recipe:The recipe for these buns can be used all year round as the buns can double-up as afternoon tea cakes; the buns without the cross. I use mixed fruit in this recipe with orange zest and a fresh apple which combined are flavoursome. I like the flavour of cinnamon and use 3 teaspoons but if you are not so keen on it then use 2 teaspoons. My family and friends enjoy these buns and I hope you do too. This recipe makes 10 to 12 buns.
Put the flour, yeast, salt (keep away from the yeast), eggs, sugar and 200ml of the warmed milk into a mixing bowl. Mix together, and add more milk and the butter as you mix, to create a sticky dough but not a wet dough. Knead for 10 minutes and then place in a lightly oiled container, cover and place in a warm part of the house to allow the dough to double in size. This may take a 2 or 3 hours so be patient.
While the dough is rising put the fruit, orange zest, diced apple and cinnamon into a bowl and mix together. Cover and leave until the dough is ready. Prepare two metal baking trays covering them with baking paper or give them a light dusting of flour to stop the buns sticking during the bake.
For the crosses:
Mix together the plain flour and water to create a paste and put this into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle. Knock back the dough to remove the air and stretch into an oblong shape. Add the fruit and thoroughly mix and knead into the dough so that the fruit is fully combined with the dough.
Roll the dough into a sausage shape and cut the dough mix to make each bun weighing between 80g and 90g. Shape and place the buns onto the baking tray. Cover the baking trays to allow the buns to rise and double in size. This will take 1 to 2 hours. Once risen, pipe a cross onto each bun.
Preheat the oven to 220 C / 200 C fan / Gas 7.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the buns are a nice brown colour. Place each bun onto a cooling rack, and using a brush, glaze with the warm apricot jam (mixed with a little water) to give the bun a nice sheen. Once cooled, slice open, butter and enjoy.