Brunch idea: cranberry and apricot buns

cranberry and apricot bunsRight before Christmas, we finally moved into our new apartment. Not everything is ready yet, but most of it is, and I’m especially happy with my fabulous new kitchen! As more and more people are visiting us now, I’ve started organizing brunches as an easy alternative. And so this bun recipe by Paul Hollywood made for a perfect treat! We now have underfloor heating too, which is doing wonders when my dough needs to rise! Another plus after all the Christmas dinners is that this recipe is low fat (and you can freeze the left-overs). Here’s how to make them:

Put 500 g strong white flour and 1 tsp salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add a 7 g sachet fast-action yeast. Meanwhile, warm 300 ml milk and 40 g butter in a pan until the butter melts and the mixture is lukewarm. Add the milk mixture and 1 egg to the flour mixture and stir until the contents come together as a soft dough (add extra flour if you need to). Tip the dough onto a well-floured surface. Knead for 5 mins, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky. Lightly oil a bowl with vegetable oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn until covered in oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside. For the filling, knock the dough back to its original size and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 1cm-thick rectangle. Brush all over with 25 g melted butter, then sprinkle over 75 g soft brown sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, 100 g dried cranberries and 100 g chopped dried apricots. Roll up the dough into a tight cylinder, cut into 9 x 4cm slices and position on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between. Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 mins.

Heat the oven to 170 C. Bake the buns for 20-25 mins or until risen and golden brown. Meanwhile, melt 50 g sugar with 4 tbsp water until syrupy. Remove the buns from oven and glaze with the sugar mix. Set aside to cool on a wire rack. Once cool, mix the zest of 1 lemon and 100 g icing sugar with 1 egg white to make icing. Stir until you get a syrupy mix, add extra sugar if you need to. Drizzle over the buns. Enjoy while listening to Good King Wenceslas (hey I just love Christmas!) in the version of the Irish Rovers.

Use up left-over apricots in an apricot and marzipan twist or a fruit cake. Use up leftover cranberries in white chocolate and cranberry cookies.

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