Easter Hot Cross Buns!

This recipe is another from Paul Hollywood's 'How To Bake' book. He used it on the recent Great British Bake Off Easter Special. I made these for my parents as their Easter present. I altered it slightly, instead of using chopped mixed peel, I used dried apricots and I didn't include the apple that he does. I also didn't have any oranges, so used the zest of two lemons instead...

500g strong white bread flour
10g salt
75g caster sugar
10g instant yeast
40g unsalted butter, softened
2 medium eggs
120ml milk
120ml water
150g sultanas
80g chopped dried apricots
zest of two lemons
2 tsp cinnamon
For the crosses
75g plain flour
75ml water
For the glaze
3 tsp apricot jam
splash of water

1. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl. Add the yeast to the other. Add the butter, eggs, milk and half the water. Using your hand, mix the ingredients together. Continue adding water a little at a time as you may not need it all. Keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough. 
2. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. Work it until it becomes soft and smooth. 
3. Put in an oiled bowl and cover. Leave to rise in a warm place for anything up to 3 hours, until it's doubled in size. 
4. Tip the dough onto a floured surface. Scatter over the sultanas, apricots, zest and cinnamon. Knead in until evenly incorporated. Cover again and leave to rise for another hour.
5. Knock back and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll into balls and place on a baking tray, lined with grease proof paper. Put the tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rest for another hour. 
6. Preheat the oven to 200. Mix the flour and water to a paste. Using a piping bag with a fine nozzle, pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Warm the apricot jam and water and brush over the top of the warm buns to glaze. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Ta da! They smell glorious, can't wait until later when I get to have one! I think even these can cure a horrible cold, like the one I'm suffering from at the moment! Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend. X Bo


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