These are very good taken at any time of day with tea. Also excellent for a pudding at 3 o’clock in the morning.
Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Add half the eggs and whizz with an electric whisk until well mixed and extremely sticky. Gradually add the remaining eggs, alternating them with the butter, and mix to soft dough. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into a well-greased 12-hole muffin tray (I’ve used one with heart-shaped holes) and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until the mixture doubles in size and reaches to the top of the tin. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.
Bake the buns for 12–14 minutes until well risen and pale golden brown. When they are ready, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool on a wire rack.
While the buns are cooling, make the syrup. Put the sugar in a saucepan with the orange rind and stir in the cold water. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey, liqueur and orange-flower water, if using. Set aside to cool.
Dip 6 buns in the syrup and serve straight away. Pack the remaining buns into a 1-litre sterilised jar. Gently pour the just-warm syrup over the buns and leave to stand for 20 minutes. Top up with any remaining syrup as they are thirsty little things. Cover and seal the jar tightly. Keep in the fridge until you want to serve them. The buns should last at least a month in their syrupy bath.
Serve the honey buns with a little of the syrup spooned over and lots of whipped cream.