Hot Cross Bun Loaf

Hot Cross Bun Loaf

This recipe uses Jack Berry™ Baker’s Choice Wheat Flour Bread 750 from the Traditional range. This loaf slices well and is a great alternative to individual rolls.  When toasted, it tastes even better as it enhances the flavour of the spices.

Makes 1 x 2lb loaf

Ingredients

500g Baker’s Choice Wheat Flour Bread 750

1 tsp ground mixed spice

2½ tsp ground cinnamon

7g fast-action dried yeast

60g caster sugar

150ml semi-skimmed milk

60g butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing

1 large egg, beaten

50g sultanas/cranberries

50g chopped mixed peel

50g currants

1 tsp salt

For the glaze –

2 tbsp plain flour

2 tbsp granulated sugar

Method

Place the sieved flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the spices, yeast, caster sugar and salt. Mix the ingredients well until fully combined.

Pour 75ml of boiling water into a jug and add the milk, which will produce a tepid liquid that isn’t too hot for the yeast. Add the melted butter and beaten egg to the liquid, then pour into the flour mixture and bring together as a dough. The dough should be soft but not too sticky.

Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and springy. Knead in the dried fruit until evenly distributed.

Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1½ – 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down to knock it back, then shape it into a round. Place it in a well-greased 1kg/2lb loaf tin and poke any bits of fruit that are sticking out back into the dough, so they don’t burn.

Cover with cling film and leave to prove for 30 minutes or until well risen to above the top of the tin (roughly doubled in size). While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C Fan, Gas Mark 4.

Mix the plain flour with a pinch of salt and 2 tbsps cold water to make a paste with a good piping consistency. Transfer to a disposable piping bag (or a plastic food bag) and snip off a 1cm opening.  Pipe a cross on top of the loaf.

Bake the loaf in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes, then remove from the tin and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the base sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

To glaze, heat the granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon water until dissolved. Brush over the cooled loaf.

Note:  The baked loaf will keep for 2-3 days (it’s best to serve it toasted after the first day), or it can be sliced and frozen.

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