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Cherry and Almond Fruit Buns

Cherry and Almond Fruit Buns

Makes 20

3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar, plus 1 tsp extra
7g sachet dried yeast
4 cups (600g) bread flour, plus extra, for kneading
125g butter, chilled, plus 60g extra, softened
2 eggs
1 cup (160g) natural almonds, plus extra chopped almonds, for decorating
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
80g dried cherries
1 cup (120g) icing sugar, sifted
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp orange blossom water, optional

1. Place 300ml lukewarm water in a small jug. Add 1 tsp sugar and yeast and stir to combine. Stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.
2. Sift flour, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large bowl. Chop chilled butter then, using your fingertips, rub into flour until mixture resembles crumbs. Add yeast mixture and 1 beaten egg and stir to form a dough. Knead well for approx 10 mins, until the dough is elastic, and then leave to prove in a warm place for approx 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
3. While dough is rising, process almonds and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add remaining egg, 60g softened butter and vanilla and process until combined. Transfer to a small bowl.
4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease 2 oven trays. Using your hands, flatten dough to a 1cm-thick rectangle. Scatter with cherries then roll up like a Swiss roll. Divide dough into 20 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, flatten into a 10cm round. Spoon 2 tsp almond mixture on to the centre, then gather sides up and around filling to enclose and seal join. Shape into a ball then place, sealed-side down, on prepared oven tray. Repeat with remaining dough and filling, placing buns 4cm apart on trays. Stand for 20 minutes or until nearly doubled in size. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack over a tray to cool.
5. Place icing sugar into a small bowl. Stir in enough lemon juice to form an icing, then stir in orange blossom water, if using. Spoon a little icing over each bun then top with chopped almonds. Stand until icing has set. Serve.

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