Pour the flour, salt, yeast and spices into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the caster sugar, sultanas, dates, raisins, chocolate chunks and orange zest. Mix well and then create a well in the centre of the bowl. Add the butter into the well and pour the milk and water over the butter, followed by the beaten egg. Mix it all together until it becomes dough. If the mix is too dry, add more milk.
Cover the bowl with cling film and set it aside for 2 hours to rise in room temperature – it should double in size. Then place the dough on a clean work surface and punch out the air. Divide the mixture into 12, using a palette knife and shape each section into round rolls. Place them on a baking sheet – allowing room for expansion – and cover them with cling film. Allow them to rise again until they double in size again.
Make your crosses using a piping bag. Add enough water to the flour to make a thick paste, then pipe the shapes you wish onto the top of the buns. Preheat your oven to 220°C/gas mark 7 and bake the buns for 15 minutes.
Make the glaze in a small saucepan by slowly melting together the sugar, vanilla extract and water over a medium heat, until the sugar granules have dissolved and you have a clear syrup. Brush the buns with the glaze as soon they come out of the oven, while they are still warm. Then cool them on a wire rack.