1. Place the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl or in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the eggs and yolk, oil and water and mix with a wooden spoon or the dough hook mixer attachment into rough dough.
2. Knead by hand – it will be an arduous long job, 30-40 minutes – or in the mixer for 10-12 minutes until the dough is smooth, elastic, clears the sides of the bowl or stops sticking to your hands. Transfer it to a lightly greased large bowl, cover with cling film and put in a warm place for up to 2 hours, until doubled in volume.
3. Turn out risen dough onto lightly floured work surface. Stretch it gently with your hands (it should be very pliable) into a rectangle, then roll out to about 45cm (18 in) by 35cm (14 in).
4. Brush all over with melted butter. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon, raisins and sultanas; more sparingly with almond flakes and pistachio slivers, if using.
5. With the help of a dough scraper or a palette knife, roll the dough tightly into a log along the longer side. Seal the seam. Using a serrated knife cut it into 12 pieces.
6. Place the rolls in buttered, individual ramekins, a muffin tin or nest them into one or two larger dishes. The size isn’t crucial; the buns will spread wider in a larger container or rise tall in a smaller one.
7. To bake straight away, cover the containers with cling film and leave in a warm place for 30-40 minutes until risen by half. Go to step 10.
8. For a morning bake, cover the dish(es) with cling film and keep in the fridge overnight. Remove from fridge at least half an hour before baking. Go to step 10.
9. From frozen: remove the buns from the freezer last thing the night before and place in the cold oven to defrost and prove. In the morning turn the oven on with the buns in and proceed as step 10.
10. In any case preheat the oven to 180C (fan if available)/350F/ gas 4. When ready to bake, brush the tops with beaten egg and bake for 20-35 minutes (shorter time for individual buns) until risen and deep golden.
11. Cool slightly in the dishes but they are best served warm.