Bursting with dried cranberries, apricots and cinnamon these buns are a perfect addition to Christmas. Because the dough uses yeast it needs special treatment and time to rise, so these are best for a lazy Saturday or Sunday - you can knead the dough in the morning, nip off for a bit of Christmas shopping or a nice walk (oh, snow would be perfect, but I realise that as London is completely unprepared for it, the whole city would be paralysed!) and come home to a perfectly risen, pillowy soft dough, ready to be rolled, sprinkled with sugar and baked.
To make about 10-12 buns you'll need:
(recipe adapted from here)
1 sachet of dry fast action yeast (7g)
1tsp caster sugar
300 ml milk
40g unsalted butter
500g strong bread flour
100g dried cranberries
100g dried apricots
2 tbsp marmalade
50g light brown sugar
30g butter, melted
2 tsp cinnamon
50g caster sugar
1-2 tbsp water
170g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp water
Start off by making a yeast starter. In a small bowl mix yeast with 1tsp sugar, add 2 tbsp warm milk (make sure the milk is not too hot as it will kill the yeast). Stir in a tbsp of flour and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes until the yeast froths up.
Gently heat the rest of the milk with butter in a small pot and set aside to cool. Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, then add yeast starter, egg and milk + butter.
Stir with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined, then turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until you've got a smooth and elastic dough. You can also knead the dough in a mixer with a dough hook (dear Santa, please bring me a Kitchen Aid at some stage. You might even get a bun!). The dough will be quite sticky, so feel free to add 1-2 tbsp of flour.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for an hour or until it doubles in size.
Once the dough has doubled transfer it to a lightly floured surface, knock the air out and use a rolling pin to roll it into a large rectangle.
Now chop the apricots and cranberries and melt butter in a pot. Gently heat the marmalade in a separate pot. Brush the dough with butter, then spread the marmalade over the top and sprinkle the apricots and cranberries.
Roll the dough into a long sausage and cut 10-12 rolls. Transfer them into a baking tray lined with baking parchment, cover with a clean tea towel and let them rise for half an hour.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in 170 C fan/190 C or until golden.
While the buns are cooling you can make the glaze: simply heat caster sugar with a couple of tablespoons of water until the sugar dissolves, then brush on top of the buns.
To make the frosting mix icing sugar, lemon juice and water - the icing should be quite thick, but easy enough to drizzle over the buns. Ideally you'd wait for the icing to set before eating, but if you can't resist, tuck in (exactly what I did :D