Combine the yeast and sugar with 275ml of warm water and set aside for 10 minutes, until frothy. Put the melted butter and 1 egg in a bowl and whisk to combine.
In a bowl of a freestanding or hand held electric mixer, place the ground cinnamon, ground mixed spice and flour and mix to combine. Add yeast and butter mixtures, lemon zest, blueberries, fruit peel and salt. Mix on low speed for about 8-10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and slightly elastic and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. The dough will be slightly on a shaggy side.
Transfer the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl, cover and set aside to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. Meanwhile, line the large baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
Gently knock down the air from the dough and transfer it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into 12 equal pieces (You can use kitchen scales to be precise and weigh the dough. My dough weighted about 1175g in total, so each bun was about 98g in weight). Use the palm of your hand to roll each piece into a ball. Arrange the buns on the prepared baking tray, spacing the buns 1 cm apart. Cover, and set aside in a warm place to prove for 30 minutes.
If using crumble topping, simply rub all of the ingredients together with your fingertips until their texture resembles that of coarse breadcrumbs. Chill until required.
Heat the oven to 180C (160 C fan). Prepare the cross mixture by mixing flour and water together, until you have a thick paste. Don't be tempted to add more water to it, it should be thick. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with small, plain nozzle (mine was 3mm).
Beat the remaining egg and brush the buns with it. Pipe the cross pattern on top of the buns. If using the crumble topping, sprinkle it on top of the buns.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven.
Prepare the glaze. Mix the apricot jam with water and add to a small saucepan. Cook it on a low heat for 1- 2 minutes, just to warm it up. Brush the warm buns with apricot jam.
depending on the type of yeast you are using, you may have to activate it first. I'm using dried yeast, which requires dissolving in liquid before using it. If you are using instant yeast, you can add it straight to your dry ingredients.
it is much easier to make this recipe with freestanding or electric mixer, however, you can also do it by hand, it will just take longer.
if you find the dough to be on a sticky side, lightly grease your hands with olive oil or vegetable oil before shaping the buns into balls
for the cross pattern, it is easier to pipe a line along each row in one direction, then the other (instead of piping individual cross on each bun)
pipe the cross pattern slowly, so the paste 'hugs' the curves of each bun
Make ahead instructions:
to make ahead, prepare the dough up to step 3, transfer it to a clean bowl, cover it and place in the fridge overnight to prove. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to rise for 2 hours at room temperature, then proceed to step 4
it's also possible to allow the shaped buns to prove in the fridge overnight. Follow the recipe all the way through step 4. Cover pre-shaped buns and refrigerate overnight. Remove them from the fridge and allow them to sit at room temperature for about 1h 30 minutes- 2 hours before baking
any leftover buns can be covered tightly and stored at room temperature for 1-2 days. To re-heat the buns, simply pop it into toaster for a couple of minutes. They taste delicious toasted with some butter, honey or jam on top of them