This is a “master recipe” for all things sweet bready bakes and this time we’re going for a hybrid; think hot cross bun meets the apple scroll.

Makes 12  

Sweet Bread Dough
This is a “master recipe” for all things sweet bready bakes and this time we’re going for a hybrid; think Hot Cross Bun meets the Apple Scroll. It’s a slightly sweetened, fluffy white dough that is slightly enriched – not as enriched as a brioche but not as savoury as white bread. It is high in yeast, which makes it almost foolproof (almost!). The secret with yeasted bakes is always ensuring you give them enough time to proof, but not enough time that they over proof. Over proofed dough will appear crinkled as the air pockets collapse back onto themselves. Always make sure you adjust proofing time based on the temperature in your kitchen – warm summer days will need less time and cold winter days will need more.


30g bread flour
130g full cream milk

All of the tangzhong paste
200g milk
20g caster sugar
8g instant dried yeast
1 tsp salt
1 egg, at room temperature
390g bread flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground all spice
60g unsalted butter, softened

150g sultanas
1 granny smith apple, cut into 3mm dice
100g unsalted butter, softened
50g brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

For the cream cheese cross 
125g cream cheese 
75g icing sugar 
40g thickened cream

Tangzhong is a cooked roux which allows your bread to retain a lot more water while baking, resulting in a super soft bread. For the tangzhong, combine the flour and milk in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it becomes a thick paste. Don’t worry about lumps – it will be kneaded into the bread anyway. 
For the dough, In a bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the tangzhong, milk, caster sugar and yeast and mix briefly to cool down the tangzhong. Next, add the salt, egg, bread flour and spices and increase the speed of your mixer to medium to begin kneading. This is a really wet dough so will need to be kneaded for a good 10-15 minutes. Don’t be tempted to add any extra flour, as the dough is kneaded, it will eventually gather together and come away from the sides of the bowl.  
Once it has come away from the sides of the bowl, add in the butter and mix until incorporated. It will look like the butter isn’t going to absorb into the dough, but again, just keep kneading with the mixer. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench, flour your hands and bring it together into a ball. 
Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in and cover with cling film to create a nice humid environment and place the dough in a warm area for its first rise.  
Leave the dough to rise for 45 mins – 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. 
Once doubled, knock it back (the best bit!) – press down on the dough to knock out all of that beautiful air trapped inside. Turn the dough out onto your surface and gently push the excess air out of the dough. Press the dough out into a 45cm x 20cm (approx) rectangle, it should be around ½ cm thick.  
Combine the butter, sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and mix until smooth before slathering all over the dough. Sprinkle with the sultanas and apple before rolling up tightly into a scroll. Cut the scroll into 12 even pieces and place onto 2 baking trays lined with baking paper. Allow the scrolls to proof for a second time, this time 30-45 minutes or until puffed up.  
Preheat the oven to 160C ff and bake the scrolls for 16-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely while you make the cream cheese cross.  
For the cross, combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix until smooth. Fill the cream into a piping bag and cut a small amount away from the end to create a 3mm opening. Pipe the cream into crosses over the top of the buns – these are best eaten the day they’re made.