These spice-laden buns are traditionally eaten for breakfast on Good Friday and marked with a cross to represent the crucifixion of Jesus.
- 400 ml milk
- 120 g unsalted butter, roughly chopped, plus extra, to serve
- 750 g (5 cups) plain flour
- 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 2 x 7 g yeast sachets
- 3½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 150 g (1 cup) dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 80 g (½ cup) sultanas
- 80 g (½ cup) currants
- 1 orange, zested
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 egg
- 75 g (½ cup) plain flour
- 25 ml sunflower oil
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 125 g caster sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 1 hour 45 minutes
Place milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium–low heat and stir until melted. Cool slightly. Place flour, sugar, yeast, spices, dried fruit, orange and lemon zest and 1 tsp salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir to combine. Stir in egg, then milk mixture. Knead for 9 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
Punch down dough, divide into 20 equal pieces, then knead each piece for 1 minute into a smooth ball. Place in rows on an oven tray lined with baking paper, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes or until dough doubles in size.
Preheat oven to 220°C. To make paste, place flour, oil and 65ml water in a bowl and stir to a smooth paste. Transfer to piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe a cross shape onto each dough ball. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce oven to 200°C and bake for a further 9 minutes or until golden.
Meanwhile, to make spice glaze, place mixed spice, sugar and 100 ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Brush buns generously with glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter.
Photography by Derek Swalwell.
As seen in Feast magazine, May 2014, Issue 31.
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