Apple, Cinnamon and Raisin Hot Cross Buns
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- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup golden caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- 1 stick Blue Band Margarine
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 pack yeast
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup milk (whole)
- 2 apples (peeled, cored and finely diced)
- 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
PreparationPrep time: 40 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
1. Mix flour, yeast, sugar, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl.
2. Melt Blue Band Margarine with half of the milk in a small pan; add the remaining cold milk and cold water so that the liquid is warm.
3. Pour it into the flour mixture and stir lightly. Add raisins and finely diced apple and knead firmly for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Don't worry if some of the apples fall out of the mixture; you can knead them back in later.
4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a long sausage, cut into 16 equal pieces.
5. Pinch the edges of each piece of dough up to the centre until you have a smooth ball, turn seam side down on the worktop and roll into a smooth ball.
6. Place the buns on a baking tray allowing space for them to double in size. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
7. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200 degrees celcius fan, gas mark 6). Mix the plain flour with enough water to make a stiff paste. Place in a piping bag and snip the end then pipe crosses on the hot cross buns.
8. Bake for 15 minutes then cover with baking parchment and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the buns are golden, firm and light inside.
9. To glaze, dissolve 2 tbsp. caster sugar in 2 tbsp. water, boil for 1 minute then brush over the hot buns as soon as they come out of the oven.
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Featured Food Tip
Poaching means to cook food gently in liquid, keeping the temperature just below the boiling point. Pears are often poached in a vanilla-sugar syrup or red wine. Poaching preserves and enhances a pear’s delicate flavor. It also improves the fruit’s texture by drawing water back into the flesh. Poached pears will stay fresh for up to a week when refrigerated.