Start by dissolving the yeast in either 250ml of lukewarm water or milk along with the melted cooled butter.
Place the flour, spices, salt and sugar into the bowl of a food mixer with the dough hook, mix on a low speed for a minute to incorporate ingredients. Then slowly add the yeast liquid, and egg if using (this will give you a slightly richer dough) until the mix comes together. Then add your fruit and mix on a low speed for 5 – 8 minutes or until dough is springy to touch, (it should hold a thumb indentation for a minute or two).
If your mixture is sticky simply add a little extra flour. Once your dough is ready, remove to a floured surface and divide into 10/12 equal size balls approx 100g in weight each. Roll each ball into a circle then place onto a parchment lined baking tray, allowing enough room for each bun to double in size.
Make a cross on top of each bun with your thick flour and water paste, you can pipe it on or use a teaspoon to drizzle it across. Allow the buns to rise in a warm place. This will take between 25 – 45 minutes depending on your kitchen’s temperature. Once they have risen, place in the hot preheated oven for 18 – 22 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Remove the buns from oven and whilst hot brush with a little honey or golden syrup.
Pipeable dough for the cross on top:
Make a stiff but pipeable paste by mixing plain flour with a couple of tablespoons of cold water until smooth.