Bring the beer to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Mix in the tea and leave to cool until it is blood temperature.
Sift the flour, salt, milk powder, caster sugar and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm beer and butter mixture. Whisk the two eggs and add to the bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
Place the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes. Hold the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then fold it back on itself.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place such as an airing cupboard for at least an hour or until doubled in size.
Add the fruit, mixed peel and orange zest and knead thoroughly into the dough, making sure everything is evenly distributed. Leave to prove again for another hour, covered by some well-oiled cling film.
When the dough has again doubled in size, divide into one hundred gram pieces, shape into balls and place on a tray lined with non-stick paper.
Cover with a clean tea towel, then set aside for one more hour.
Pre heat your oven to 200 C / 400 F / Gas Mark 6. Mix the remaining plain flour with about five tablespoons of cold water to make the paste for the cross.
Spoon into a disposable piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes on the middle shelf of your oven, until golden brown. Give a quick tap to the bottom of a bun, it will sound hollow when done.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack.
Carefully heat the apricot jam with a splash of water in a small heavy-bottomed pan. Pass through a sieve to remove any pieces of fruit. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.
Eat straightaway or, if you can wait, store and toast up later with lots of butter!