A dough enriched with butter, eggs and dried fruits are used to make this wonderful Easter centrepiece.
It is delicious spread with dairy butter. This loaf can be made in advance of the big day and frozen.
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Fruit Bun Starter: Measure out and melt the butter.
Put the spelt flour, quick yeast, sugar and mixed spice into a bowl and stir to combine.
Break the egg into the bowl, add the milk and mix everything together well.
Stir in the melted butter and salt without over mixing.
Cover with an upturned bowl and leave overnight.
Hot Cross Bun Loaf: Rub some butter around the inside of a 1kg/2lb bread tin.
Grate the orange rind into the bowl.
Add the sultanas and glacé peel and stir to make a sticky dough.
Gather together the dough and knead it briskly in the bowl for 100 presses, it will become less sticky.
Dust the work surface with flour, put the dough in the middle and lightly dust the top.
Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each into a ball.
Arrange the dough balls, in two rows of four, in the bread tin.
Cover the tin with an upturned bowl and leave in a warm place for the dough to rise, about an hour.
Pre-heat the oven
Hot Cross Bun Topping: For the cross topping, put the flour into a bowl, add the water and stir to make a paste.
Using a teaspoon, pastry brush or piping bag, dribble or paint a cross onto each bun with the paste.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Remove the loaf from the oven, and carefully brush the top of the dough with egg yolk.
Return the loaf to the oven for 5 minutes.
Take the loaf out of the oven, turn it out and leave to cool on a wire rack.