325g raw caster sugar
1 1/2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored, diced
750g plain flour
150g dried apple, diced
30g candied orange, diced
14g (2 sachets) dried yeast
3 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
100g butter, coarsely chopped
Combine 260g sugar and 275mL water in a saucepan, then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, cut remaining lemon half into 5mm thick slices.
Add to pan with apple and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium and cook until lemon and apple are translucent (20-25 minutes).
Strain, reserving fruit and syrup separately. When cool enough to handle, dice lemon, combine with apple and set aside.
Combine 700g flour, dried apple, candied orange, yeast, 3 teaspoons of cinnamon, allspice, remaining sugar, reserved apple mixture and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan, warm over low heat until butter melts and mixture is lukewarm. Whisk in egg, then add milk mixture to the flour.
Stir to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes)
Place in a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
Knock back dough, divide into 20 even pieces, then knead each piece into a smooth ball. Arrange dough balls into two concentric circles on a large round or rectangular baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving 1cm between each for dough to expand.
Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
Preheat oven to 220 C. Combine remaining flour and 70mL cold water in a bowl and stir to a smooth paste.
Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe a cross shape onto each bun.
Bake for 10 minutes, reduce oven to 200 C and bake until golden and buns sound hollow when tapped (8-10 minutes).
Meanwhile, combine reserved syrup and remaining ground cinnamon in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until syrupy and combined.
Brush thickly over hot buns, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Credits: Adapted from Lisa
Photo Credits: Debbie