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    Cherry & chocolate hot cross buns

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    Cherry & chocolate hot cross buns

    Makes: 12

    Ingredients

    450g Waitrose Very Strong Canadian Flour

    ½ tsp salt

    2 tsp ground cinnamon

    100g caster sugar

    7g Doves Farm Quick Yeast

    160g Waitrose LOVE Life Dried Cherries

    100g pack Waitrose Cooks’ Homebaking Dark Chocolate Chunks

    50g butter

    250ml semi-skimmed milk, plus 3 tbsp extra for the glaze

    1 medium Waitrose Columbian Blacktail Free Range Egg, beaten

    50g plain flour

    Method

    1. Sift the strong flour, salt and 1½ tsp  cinnamon into a large bowl to lightly combine the ingredients. Add 50g sugar, and the yeast, dried cherries and chunks of chocolate, then stir until just combined.

    2. Gently melt the butter in a small pan, add 250ml milk and heat for 1 minute until tepid. Pour in the egg and stir enough of the milk mixture into the flour to form a soft dough, using a round-bladed knife.

    3. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces and shape into balls, pushing any of the chunks of chocolate that poke out of the dough back in, to stop too much chocolate oozing out in the oven. Transfer onto large baking sheets lined with non-stick baking parchment, leaving space between each bun. Cover with lightly oiled clingfilm. Leave to prove in a warm place for about 1–1½ hours, until doubled in size.

    4. Preheat oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5. To decorate with the crosses, put plain flour in a small bowl and gradually add 5-6 tbsp cold water to form a smooth, thick paste. Spoon this mixture into a small piping bag, or a clean plastic food bag and snip off a corner, then neatly pipe a cross over each of the buns. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown in colour.

    5. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Place the remaining milk, 3 tbsp cold water, the remaining cinnamon and sugar in a small pan. Heat for 2–3 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. When the buns are cooked, transfer onto a cooling rack and brush the glaze over each one twice. Allow to cool.

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