400 g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
7 g sachet fast-action dried yeast
50 g golden caster sugar, plus 1 tsp
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
250 ml warm milk
1 medium egg, beaten
50 g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
100 g chocolate chips (milk or dark, whichever you prefer), or currants or raisins
50 g plain flour
For the glaze (optional)
2 tbsp apricot jam
- Mix the bun ingredients.Put the strong flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt in a bowl with the spices and mix. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk, egg and butter. Start mixing with a plastic or wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add warm water, or extra flour if it’s wet.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 mins until it becomes smooth and springy. Leave the dough to rise until doubled in size because of the yeast. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.
- Add the chocolate chips and do some division. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten. Scatter over the chocolate chips (or dried fruit), and knead the dough a few more times. Divide it into 8 even portions – halve the dough, then halve each portion twice more.
- Roll the dough into buns. Roll each portion into a smooth round and place on a greased baking sheet in 2 rows of 4, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise. Cover with a tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins, until almost doubled in size again or just touching.
- Make the crosses on the buns and bake them. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan. Mix the plain flour with 1 tsp sugar and 4-5 tbsp water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe white lines on the buns to make crosses. Bake for 20 mins until they are light brown.
- Brush them with jam if you want them to be nice and shiny. If you want to enjoy the buns untoasted, gently heat the jam in a pan or the microwave, and brush over the buns using a pastry brush. If you are going to toast them, then don’t glaze them as the jam will burn.