| Chocolate hot cross bun loaf

Heat the milk and water together in a small saucepan until warm. You should be able to dip your fingertip into the milk without burning it. Transfer the milk to a small bowl and stir in the dry yeast. Set aside.

Sift the flour, salt, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and castor sugar into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the ginger preserve.

Melt the butter. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the melted butter, milk and yeast mixture and beaten egg. Mix together well until you have a rough dough. Dust your work surface with a little flour and turn the dough out onto the surface. Knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is soft and springy. Place the dough in a lightly floured or oiled mixing bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in warm place for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Place the dough back on your floured work surface. Punch the dough down. Sprinkle raisins, cranberries and dried citrus peel over the dough then knead for a minute to incorporate.

Roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 30cm x 40cm (it doesn’t need to be exact). Spread the Nutella evenly over the surface.  Starting at the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough into a long log.

Grease and line a large baking tray. Use a sharp, floured knife to cut the log in half lengthways. Start a few centimetres from the top so that the two sections are still attached at one end. Twist the two sides over each other, then form the log into a circle on the baking tray pinching the two ends together. (See photos below.) Cover and leave for a further 30 minutes to rise. While the loaf is rising preheat your oven to 190ºC.

Reprinted with permission of Cupcakes and Couscous


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