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Spiced fruit buns

OK so these are really hot cross buns...without the crosses but they taste so yummy...a hot cross bun is not just for Easter (actually buns with crosses on can be found in a lot of cultures, not just Christian).

450g (16oz) strong white bread flour 50g (2oz) caster sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 7g (1 packet) easy blend dried yeast 50g (2oz) butter, diced 125g (4 1/2oz) mixed fruit & peel 200ml (7 fl oz) lukewarm milk 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons sugar, 4 tablespoon water to glaze

Put the flour, sugar, salt, spices and yeast into a large bowl (or into a food mixer) and mix well. Add the diced butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (I am lazy and do this in the food mixer with the paddle fitted).  Stir in the dried fruit.

Pour in the lukewarm milk and the beaten eggs.  Bring the mixture together to form a soft dough. Then knead either by hand on a floured surface for ten minutes or in your food mixer with the dough hook for four minutes (on the lowest speed).  The dough should be smooth and very elastic.

Place in a bowl and cover with a tea cloth or lid and leave until doubled in size (approx 1 hour).

Knock back the dough and divide into 12 pieces shaping them into balls.

Set them apart on a greased baking tray and cover, leave to rise again to double in size (about 45 minutes, or you can pop them in the fridge overnight).

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/440F/Gas 6.

Bake in the oven for fifteen minutes, until golden brown.

Dissolve the 2 tablespoons of sugar in 4 tablespoons hot water and use this to brush over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.


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