Delicious lightly spiced and fruited buns for Easter. With wholemeal spelt flour and only a little sugar, this recipe is healthier than many but doesn't compromise on festive munchiness. As yeast buns go, these are some of the easiest to make.
Warm the milk in a pan over a gentle heat until it's lukewarm, then stir in the yeast until it's dissolved. Don't add the yeast if the milk is too hot, or you will kill it and your buns won't rise.
Place the dry ingredients into a large bowl along with the orange zest, make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted milk and oil, mixing as you go until it comes together as a dough.
Turn out onto a work surface and knead for about five minutes, adding the fruit in towards the end. Alternatively, chuck everything into a stand mixer and let it do the work for you.
Divide the dough into 12 more or less equal pieces and form into balls.
Place roughly 2 cm apart on a lined or oiled baking tray.
Cover the tray with a tea towel or plastic bag and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. This takes around an hour, but will depend on flour, yeast and room temperature.
Mix the plain flour with enough of the orange juice to form a thickish paste.
Pipe or spoon over the buns to form crosses.
Bake in the middle of the oven at 200℃ (400℉, Gas 6) for 15-20 minutes, when the buns should be brown on top and the bases sound hollow when tapped.
Warm the jam and stir in any remaining orange juice. If you have no juice left add a tablespoon of water instead. Brush over the hot buns to form a glaze.
Place on a wire rack to cool. Or eat straighaway whilst still hot.
Top TipsTo ensure the buns remain soft, half fill a roasting pan with water and place in the oven whilst it's warming up. Keep it there whilst the buns are baking. The resulting steam will help the buns to rise as well as keeping them soft.Instead of a jam glaze, you can use sugar and water instead. Dissolve one tablespoon of golden granulated or caster sugar in a pan over a low heat with two tablespoons of water.Please note: calories are per serving. They’re approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.