Heat the milk and orange zest up in a pan until its steaming hot, then take the pan off the heat, drop the cubes of butter in and stir off the heat, until the butter melts and leave to cool so just warm to touch.
In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar, yeast and cinnamon, then stir in the milk and 2 beaten eggs. Keep stirring until it gets to hard to stir and then take out this dough and knead for a good five minutes until it is smooth and bouncy.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film and then a dry tea towel and leave for 2 hours to prove, it should roughly double in size.
Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface, take the dough from the bowl and onto this surface and knead all the air out of the dough, so you don’t have any bubbles in the dough.
Add in the dried fruit and knead and mix it into the dough, so it is evenly throughout it.
Divide the dough up into 22 equal balls. Roll the balls into a good round shape and then place them on a baking tray making sure you leave enough space around each one for it to expand. Cover loosely with clingfilm and place a tea towel over them and leave for another hour to prove again.
Crack the egg left over into a cup, lightly beat then brush it all over each ball, making sure you give them a good thick layer of egg.
If you wish to make a more traditional Hot Cross Bun without the Lime Icing you could at this stage, just put a flour made cross over them, to do this you need to mix some strong flour with a little warm water to make a thick paste and place this in either a pipe bag or freezer bag that you cut the corner off and pipe a cross over the buns and do not put any egg glaze on the cross.
If you wish to make the buns with the icing you don’t add anything to the top of the buns, just place them into a pre-heated oven (180°C / 160C Fan / Gas 4) for 25 – 30 minutes, make sure they are cooked through and golden on the outside. To check if cooked put a cocktail stick or skewer into the middle and make sure that when you pull it out it is clean.
Let the buns cool before you put icing on them. To make the icing you need to put the icing sugar into a bowl, add warm water and mix until the icing becomes thick, so it does not run off the spoon too easy.
Add more water a little at a time until you reach the right thickness to pipe onto the buns.
Put the icing into a piping bag or if you don’t have a piping bag you can put it into a freezer bag and just cut off the corner. Then pipe the cross over the buns. This is the Lakeland Piping Nozzles we used Here The Lakeland piping bags Here and to make it easier for the kids we use a clever holder when you fill the pipe bag with icing this is a link to the one we use Here
These buns are best kept in a tin and eaten within 2 to 3 days; however, they are suitable for freezing
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