I do like a hot cross bun every now and then, but it can be a bit of a faff making individual buns, so here is my loaf version. It also makes it very easy to slice and toast, which is delicious!
200ml/6.7 fl oz warm milk
2 1/4 teaspoons/8g dried instant yeast
120g/4.2 oz sugar
57g/2 oz butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
650g/23 oz plain/all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
150g/5.3 oz mixed dried fruit
1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
Warm the milk, I pop it in the microwave for about a minute. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top, let it sit for five minutes.
Add the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla, mix to combine.
Add in the flour and salt along with the cinnamon and mixed spice. Bring togetehr to form a rough dough. Add in the mixed dried fruit.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for ten minutes (I do this in the mixer with the dough hook for about five minutes).
Knead to form a smooth ball of dough. Pop into an oiled bowl and cover. Put in a warm spot until doubled in size, this can take one to two hours.
Knock back the dough and lightly knead for a couple of minutes, shape into a round.
Place in an oiled 9" cake tin.
Cover and leave in a warm place to double in size, this will take about 45 minutes to an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350F/180C/Gas 4.
Brush the top of the dough with water and sprinkle the sugar over.
Pop into the oven and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, until nicely golden brown on top.
Turn out of the tin straight away and leave to cool on a rack.