These are lovely for morning or afternoon tea over Easter; served cold or toasted. They can be spread with butter or ricotta!
Prep time: 55 minutes + 90 minutes proofing
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2hours 55 minutes
Difficultly rating: Medium
1& ¼ cups (310ml) Milk
3/4 cup (165g)Caster sugar
2 x 7g sachets Dried yeast
4 1/3 cups (650g)Plain flour (plus extra for flouring your hands and surfaces)
1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, ground
1/4 tsp Ginger, ground
1/4 tsp Cardamom, ground
1 cup (190g) Cranberries, dried
1 Egg, lightly beaten
100g Unsalted butter, melted, cooled
¼ tsp Salt
To make the buns
Gently stir the milk and 1/3 cup of sugar in a saucepan over low heat till it is lukewarm, then turn off heat. Stir in yeast, then stand on stovetop for 10 minutes or until mixture is foamy.
Sift 4 cups of flour, spices and 1/4 tsp salt together into a bowl. Stir in cranberries, add the yeast mixture, egg and butter and stir until the mixture forms a dough.
Flour a clean kitchen surface or chopping board (the surface is usually easier) and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place (not an oven!) for 1 hour or until doubled in size. NB – If you have a bread maker, follow the instructions for proofing to save time at this stage.
Divide dough into 16 pieces and shape into balls and place in a greased 23cm square cake tin. Cover with plastic wrap then stand in a warm place (not an oven) for 30 minutes or until it has risen level with the rim of the tin.
Preheat oven to 200°C while you make the icing. Stir remaining flour, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water together until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag then pipe crosses over buns.
Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C then reduce oven to 180°C and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and risen. Turn on to a wire rack to cool. Stir remaining 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tbsp water in a saucepan over low-medium heat until sugar dissolves then bring to the boil. Brush hot syrup over top of buns. Serve.