8g/approx 2 tsp Dried Yeast
1 & 1/4 cups/300ml Non Dairy Milk
2 tbs Vegan Margarine or Vegetable Oil
3 tbs Caster Sugar
4 cups/500g Strong White Bread Flour (not all purpose flour)
3 tsp All/Mixed Spice
1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 & 1/2 cup/270g Dried Fruit (such as raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried apricot – chopped small etc)
1 cup/125g Plain Flour
Approx 1/2 cup/125g Water
1/4 cup/100g Caster Sugar
1/4 cup/60ml Water
Add the milk to a small saucepan with the margarine & sugar then place over a very low heat & whisk together until the margarine has melted. As soon as it has, remove it from the heat & let it cool to a luke warm temperature then whisk in the yeast. Leave for around 5 mins for the yeast to active and become bubbly.
Meanwhile, mix together the flour, mixed spice and salt in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Make a well in the middle then add the milk& yeast mix. Stir until the mix starts combining.
Once everything has come together, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Now it’s time to knead.
You want to knead for around 8-10 minutes. The dough should be beautifully smooth and elastic after the 10 mins. Add minimal flour whilst kneading, if you feel its way too sticky.
Place the dough back into the mixing bowl this time make sure you have light oiled the bottom of the bowl.
Cover over the bowl with a damp cloth and leave it somewhere warm for around 1 hour or until it’s double in size. Meanwhile lightly grease a flat baking tray.
After an hour, remove the dough from the bowl.
Knock the dough back and add the dried fruit. Knead for a couple of minutes so all the fruit is running through the dough nicely. Split the dough into 12 even pieces. I weigh each piece, aiming for around 90g.
Form each piece into a neat ball, then arrange them on your baking tray around a cm apart from one another. Cover over the dough balls with a damp kitchen cloth and leave somewhere warm to rise again for an hour.
Meanwhile mix together the flour and water for the crosses in a small bowl. When the dough starts to come together knead it on your work surface for 3-4 mins.
Roll the dough out, using a rolling pin until its about 2mm thick and cut thin strips ready to lay over the buns. (Traditionally you would make a wetter dough & pipe it onto the dough balls, but I figured lots of you may not have piping bags so this way is much easier :))
Pre heat your oven to 190 degrees C and place an empty baking tray filled with hot water on the bottom shelf. This will create steam as the buns are cooking.
Mix together the sugar & water to make the glaze. When the dough balls have risen, glaze them generously using a pastry brush then lay the crossing strips over the dough balls.
Apply extra glaze to crosses then place the tray into the oven.
Bake the buns for 30 minutes, turning the tray once whilst cooking, but don’t leave the oven door open long.
Once baked the buns should have risen considerably and be lovely and golden. Brush over the remaining glaze. Then leave the buns to cool with a wet cloth covering them. This softens the crust.
When the buns have cooled slightly, serve.