CALIFORNIA PRUNE & ORANGE HOT CROSS BUNS
Preparation Time: 2 hours 05 mins
500g strong flour (50% wholemeal, 50% white)
200ml green tea (made using 2 green tea teabags and left to infuse for 5 minutes)
140g California Prunes, finely chopped
50g candied orange peel, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cardamom pods (seeds only, lightly crushed in the pestle and mortar)
1 egg to wash the dough
75g flour and 3tbsp water to make the paste for the cross
Runny honey to glaze the buns
· Mix together the flour, yeast and salt. Make a well in the bottom of the bowl and pour in the milk and green tea.
· Using your hand or a dough hook on a stand mixer bring the wet and dry ingredients together to form a ball of dough. Knead on the work surface or in the mixer to develop the gluten. Work the dough for a good 10 minutes at least in order for it to be smooth and stretchy and ready for proving.
· Cover the bowl and leave to prove to double in size.
· Scoop out the dough and stretch over the work surface until it is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. Sprinkle the spices and scatter the fruit over the dough.
· Fold the dough over itself to encase the spice and fruit then knead the dough to distribute the spice and fruit through it.
· This quantity of dough will make 6 large Hot Cross Buns or 10 small ones. Portion off the dough and roll into balls. Put the dough balls onto a floured baking tray to prove again, 1 - 2 cm apart so that as they prove up they start to touch each other.
· Leave to double in size again and pre-heat your oven to 185oC.
· Brush the buns with beaten egg and a pastry brush.
· Make up a paste of the flour and water, and put into a piping bag. Snip off the end of the bag, always make a smaller hole than you think you need to because the paste will spread as the buns bake in the oven.
· Pipe a cross onto each bun and then bake for 25minutes in the preheated oven.
· Once removed from the oven, loosely cover with cling-film to retain moisture; this helps make a lovely soft hot cross bun
· Glaze with runny honey after the buns have come out of the oven and cooled for 10 minutes.