Hot Cross Cinnamon Twist
- 3hr 20min
Brew a pot of your favourite tea, place the loaf in the middle of the table and let everyone pull it apart and share the soft, spiced bun.
500g strong white flour, plus extra to dust
SWEETENED BUTTER FILLING
150g unsalted butter
1 tbsp golden syrup or honey
Sift the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter then rub the flour and butter together with your fingertips until the butter is evenly distributed. Stir through the candied peel and raisins.
Warm the milk, water and golden syrup in a pan until the syrup has just melted. Test the temperature and if just warm (body temperature), stir through the yeast. You need to be careful that the liquid is not too hot otherwise it will kill the yeast.
Add the liquid to the flour mixture and making a claw-like shape with your hand, combine the mixture to form a wet dough.
Dust a clean work surface with flour and knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it starts to tighten and look slightly silky.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl greased with a little olive oil. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for around 1 hour to prove, until roughly doubled in size.
Meanwhile, place all of the ingredients for the filling in a blender and blitz until you have a smooth buttercream. When the dough is ready, gently knock it back then divide it into four evenly- sized pieces. Shape each piece into a ball then roll the first out on a floured surface so that it is roughly 1.5cm thick and 25cm in diameter. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and spread a third of the filling over the top. Roll out another of the balls of dough and place it on top of the first, spread with another third of the filling and repeat until all of the dough has been rolled and stacked.
Using a knife, cut the shape of a cross into the dough. Next, cut three diagonal slices between each of the edges of the cross, being careful not to cut right into the centre. Take two of the quarters and twist them around each other three times before pressing the ends together to seal.
Tuck in neatly and repeat with the remaining two quarters and then again with the other intersections of the cross shape. Cover the shaped dough with cling film and leave to rise in warm place again for 1 1⁄2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Make the glaze by melting all of the ingredients together in a pan, then brush it all over the loaf. Sprinkle over the granulated sugar. Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes, or until just golden. It is worth keeping an eye on the loaf as it cooks. If any parts are looking like they are beginning to burn, simply cover with foil. When it’s baked, the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Serve warm.
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