• Ingredients:
  • 225g wholemeal strong bread flour
  • 225g white strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 10g fast-action dried yeast
  • 250g skimmed milk, warmed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 55ml Flora Cuisine or 50g Tesco Butter Me Up, melted
  • 100g sultanas or raisins
  • 75g mixed peel
  • 75g glace or dried cherries, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • For crosses:
  • 50g strong white bread flour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • For glaze:
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • To serve:
  • Tesco Butter Me Up or Lurpak Lightest
  • Superjam Blueberry & Blackcurrant Fruit Spread

These seasonal Easter treats are easier to make (and healthier) than you might think. You could always lose the crosses for an any-time-of-year fruity tea cake. Which do you prefer, tops or bottoms?!

Method

Use a breadmaker on the dough setting to make the dough. Add the ingredients in to order specified in the manufacturers instructions. Alternatively you can make by hand, adding all the dry ingredients to a large bowl (salt at the bottom, yeast at the top) then pouring over the wet ingredients and mixing with your hands until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Turn out onto a floured surface and kneed for 5 – 10 minutes until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Return to the bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm or a damp tea towel and leave to rise (prove) in a warm place for 1.5 hours.

When your dough has risen (from either method) divide the dough evenly into 12 balls (weigh to ensure they are even so that they will all cook in the same time). Line 2 trays with non-stick baking paper and divide the dough balls between the trays. Flatten each ball slightly. Cover the trays with a damp tea towel and leave for a second proving for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees whilst you make the crosses. Place the white bread flour in a small bowl and add the water. Mix to form a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out in a thin even layer. Using a sharp knife, cut into thin strips.

When the buns have risen again (no biblical reference intended!), brush each with water using a silicone pastry brush. Add 2 strips of the white dough to each bun to form a cross, sticking with the water. Brush to top of each cross with a little more water.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom.

Whilst the buns are baking, make the glaze. Add the water and sugar to a small pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. As soon as the buns are out of the oven (and are still on the trays), brush each with the warm glaze. Allow to cool for a few minutes (as the galze will be very hot) before transferring to cooling trays.

To serve, split the bun and top each half with Butter Me Up and Superjam fruit spread. Lightly toast if you prefer or if the buns are less than fresh.