Spelt Hot Crossed Buns with Dried Figs and Apricots
I created these for my family at Easter but they can really work for anytime. They are made for the keen baker and the dried figs add a particularly delicious crunch. They don’t have the doughy texture of normal buns but what they do have, is a sophistication and elegance.
Makes 14 buns
300ml whole milk
50g unsalted butter, diced
500g spelt flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 sachet fast-action yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 free-range medium egg, lightly beaten
75g dried figs, roughly chopped
75g dried apricots, diced
2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of half an orange
80g unrefined caster sugar
1-2 tbsp sunflower oil (for greasing the cling foil)
For the cross
70g spelt flour
Plus 3 tbsp apricot jam for the glaze
In a saucepan pour the milk and bring to a gentle simmer and then remove from the heat. Mix in the butter and leave to cool to a luke warm temperature. While the milk cools mix the flour, cinnamon, yeast, salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Slowly pour the now luke warm milk and use a wooden spoon to break everything together. Once all the milk has been added mix in the egg and continue beating the sticky dough for about 5 minutes. Scrape the mix into a large clean bowl and cover with cling film storing in a warm dry place to rise for an hour.
After an hour the dough should have doubled in size and use a wooden spoon to knock it back to release the air. Add the chopped up dried fruit, orange zest and mix well so that everything is evenly combined. Cover with clingfilm again and place back into a warm dry place to rise for another hour to double in size.
Prepare two baking trays lined with baking parchment. Use two tablespoons to spoon out the dough into 14 even sized balls and lightly cover the trays with greased clingfilm. Leave again to double in size for another hour.
10 minutes before the buns will be ready preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl add the spelt flour for the cross and add 3 tablespoons of cold water to mix. Continue mixing in more water and stir to create a smooth paste. Add the paste to either a piping bag or a make shift one using a plastic bag and pipe a white line over each bun. Do the same across the other side of the bun to create the signature cross. Place trays into the lower part of the oven for 18 minutes. Keep an eye so as not to burn the tops. Remove and brush over with apricot jam and serve when ready.
Tip: If you want to get rounder shaped buns then when you divide them into balls add them to lightly greased muffin trays to rise.