Christmas Buns (Paul Hollywood)

full-fat milk 300ml
unsalted butter 40g, softened
strong white bread flour 500g, plus extra for dusting
fine salt 10g
instant yeast 10g
medium egg 1, lightly beaten

For the filling
unsalted butter 25g, melted
soft brown sugar 75g
ground cinnamon 2 tsp
dried cranberries 100g
dried apricots 100g, chopped

For the glaze
apricot jam 75g

For the lemon icing
icing sugar 100g
zest of ½ lemon finely grated
water 1 tbsp

Warm the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts and the mixture is lukewarm.

Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the milk mixture and the egg and stir together with your hands to make a rough dough. You may need to add a little extra flour.

Tip the dough on to a generously floured work surface and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5–10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.

When your dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – at least 1 hour, but it’s fine to leave it for 2 or even 3 hours.

Line a deep-sided baking tray or roasting dish with baking parchment or silicone paper.

Tip the dough out on to a floured surface and, without knocking it back [deflating it], roll it out to a rectangle about 5mm thick. Tack down the edge closest to you (as this will allow you to pull and tighten the dough as you roll, which gives a nice tight swirl). Brush the surface all over with the melted butter, then sprinkle over the brown sugar, cinnamon and dried fruits. Roll the dough up into a tight cylinder and cut it into 9 slices. Place these, cut side up, in the baking tray or roasting dish, leaving a little space between each slice.

Cover the dough with a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 190C/gas mark 5.

Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and golden brown. Warm the apricot jam with a splash of water, sieve and brush over the hot buns to glaze, set aside to cool on a wire rack.

When the buns are cool, mix the ingredients for the lemon icing to make a smooth icing and trickle across the top of the buns.

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