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Kusturi's Cranberry and Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

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Ingredients:
60g fresh yeast
250ml warm water
2000ml cake flour
Pinch of salt
40ml mixed spice
10ml ground cinnamon
5ml ground nutmeg
120ml sugar
80g butter
200g dried cranberries
200g Lindt dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
Paste for crosses
120ml cake flour
5ml sugar
75 – 80ml cold water
Apricot jam, to glaze
Method:
Place the yeast, 20ml flour, 10ml sugar and the warm water in a small bowl and stir until the yeast dissolves.
Leave in a warm place until bubbles appear and the mixture looks frothy.
If the yeast does not foam and form bubbles, throw out the mixture as the yeast is not active.
Sift the flour and spices into a large mixing bowl.
Add sugar and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles crumbs.
Add the cranberries and chopped chocolate.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture and 450ml warm water to make a soft dough.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Add a little flour if the dough is too sticky.
Roll the dough into a ball and return to the mixing bowl.
Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place for 35 – 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Knead the dough lightly to deflate and divide into 24 equal portions.
Roll each portion into a smooth ball and place on a lined baking tray.
Place the balls close together so they are just touching the next.
Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non stick spray and cover the baking tray to prevent the dough from drying out.
Cover the buns loosely so they have room to once again double in size.
Mix the cake flour, sugar and cold water to make a thick paste.
Place the paste mix in a piping bag and pipe crosses on the buns.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.
Warm apricot jam with a little hot water in an AMC taster pan to make the glaze.
Brush the warm hot cross buns with the glaze.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Recipe by Yudhika Sujanani
Prepared, tried and tested by: Kusturi Bissondut

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