Tear & Share Spelt Buns with Cranberry & Orange

Cooking time
Serves12 people
Tear & Share Spelt Buns with Cranberry & Orange

These spiced buns make a mouthwatering Christmas breakfast. Or teatime treat. Making them with a mix of wholemeal spelt and plain flour gives them a rich, nutty flavour. They're filled with an orange and mixed spice-scented crème patisserie and dried cranberries. Fun. Festive. And fabulous.

1 rating


  • 225g wholegrain spelt flour, please a little extra for dusting
  • 225g plain flour
  • 7½g dried, fast action yeast
  • ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 75g salted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 250ml cold milk, plus a little extra for glazing
  • 1 egg
  • 1 orange
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 15g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g icing sugar

Prep: 40 mins + rising + proofing | Cook: 20-25 min.
Makes 12 buns.

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1. Make the bun dough: sift the flours and yeast into a bowl. Add a small pinch of salt. Stir in the sugar. Chop the butter into a pan and gently heat till it’s melted. Stir in the cold milk – this should give you a hand-hot mixture. If it’s a bit too cold, put back on the heat for a few secs.
2. Beat the egg and add it to the flour bowl. Pour in the warm milk and butter. Use your hands to mix it together to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto your work surface. Knead for around 3-4 mins till the dough is smooth and elastic – don’t add flour to make it easier to knead, as this will make the dough dry. Keep kneading, even if it sticks – a sticky dough is better than a dry one.
3. Scrape the dough back into the bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave somewhere warm for 2 hrs till the dough has doubled in size.
4. While the dough rises, make the filling: zest and juice the orange. Tip the cranberries into a bowl. Add the orange zest and half the juice (save the rest for later).
5. Whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar in a bowl. Slowly whisk in 15g spelt flour till the mix is smooth. Warm the milk in a pan over a medium heat till it just comes to the boil, then slowly whisk it into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk in the mixed spice. Pour it all back into the pan and simmer for 2-3 mins, whisking, till it thickens a little. This is your crème patisserie. Cover with beeswax paper and set aside in the fridge.
6. Tip the dough out of the bowl and punch it down to flatten a little. Knead for 2-3 mins so it’s smooth and supple. Dust your work surface with a little extra flour and roll out the dough to make a rectangle around 25cm x 40cm. Spread the crème patisserie over it, then spoon the cranberries over the top. Roll up from the long side to make a nice, tight cylinder. A little filling out might fall out the ends.
7. Slice the cylinder into roughly 12 buns. Butter a large baking tin or dish and nestle the buns in there. Cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm for 30 mins till they’re risen and puffy. While they’re rising, heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.
8. Brush the buns with a little milk to glaze them. Bake for 20-25 mins till the buns are risen, golden brown and firm to the touch. While they cook, stir the remaining orange juice into the icing sugar to make a thin glaze. Take the buns out of the oven and brush over the orange glaze. These are best eaten fresh, so serve them the same day they’re baked.
9. Get Ahead
You can make the dough the night before and let it slow rise overnight in the fridge. You can also make the crème patisserie and keep that in the fridge too, then assemble the buns in the morning. If the dough is cold, the second rise will take longer, so make sure you put them somewhere warm to help the dough become active.
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