AT A GLANCE
Fragrant with spice and studded with both fresh and dried apple, these sticky glazed buns are perfect served with salted butter, or even with the contrast of a crumbly vintage cheddar. In any case, they're best eaten hot from the oven. Just try to stop yourself.
|01||Combine flour, apple, sugar, dried and glacé fruits, yeast, spices, rind and 1 tsp salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, and mix on low speed to combine. Heat butter and orange juice in a small saucepan over low heat until butter melts, add milk and warm to blood temperature. Remove from heat, then whisk in egg. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes; dough will be quite soft). Place in a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (50 minutes to 1 hour).|
|02||Knock back dough, divide into 10 even pieces, then roll each piece into a smooth ball and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving about 5cm between each. Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).|
|03||Preheat oven to 220C. Halve extra apple, then thinly slice on a mandolin into 10 slices and discard seeds. Brush the tops of buns lightly with water, place a slice of apple on each, then brush the apple with melted butter and scatter with sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 200C and bake until buns are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped (8-10 minutes).|
|04||For vanilla glaze, stir sugar, vanilla seeds and 70ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar, bring to a simmer, then brush glaze over buns. Serve buns warm or at room temperature on the day of baking, with butter for spreading.|