1&1/2 cups mixed fruit
1/3 cup rum or brandy
Zest of an orange
1 tspn cinnamon
½ tspn each of cardamom, ground cloves, ground ginger and nutmeg
1&1/2 cup milk
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tspns yeast
5&1/2 cups high grade flour
2 tblspn milk
1 tblspn apricot jam
Soak the mixed fruit in the rum along with the orange zest and spices, preferably overnight but at least a couple of hours.
Heat the milk until just before boiling point. Add the brown sugar and butter and stir until the butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. The milk should also have cooled to luke warm by which time you can add the yeast. Allow the yeast to activate and bubble, approximately 10 minutes.
Meanwhile put 5 cups of flour in a large bowl, making a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture along with the beaten egg to the flour. Mix until combined, and then tip out onto a floured bench. Knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes until soft and pliable.
Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with glad wrap or a damp tea towel and allow it to sit in a warm place to rise. You want the dough to double in size, depending on the temperature this will take 2-3 hours.*
When the dough has risen add the marinated fruit and knead again for a few minutes. Cut the dough into 12 even pieces and shape into rolls, placing them on a greased or lined oven tray approximately ½ cm apart.
Cover the shaped rolls with a tea towel and again leave in a warm spot to rise for about an hour. You want the buns to have expanded so they are now nearly touching each other. Brush the buns with some milk before baking at 180C for 20-25 minutes.
When the buns are still warm dissolve the apricot jam with 2 tblspns of water and use this to brush over each bun as a glaze.
When the buns are completely cool pipe a cross on each with white icing.
*Warm spot that are great for proving bread are your hot water cupboard, by or around an electrical appliance like the TV or computer. I have even heard someone use the back of their car, I guess hatch backs are perfect with their glass windows.