This was my first attempt at hot cross buns and originally I planned on baking the traditional ones with raisins and fruit. My husband however, isn’t really fond of any sort of dried fruit and persuaded me to make them with chocolate. The result certainly wasn’t a disappointment.
Preparation: 45 minutes (+ 2 ½ hours prooving)
Baking: 20 minutes
500g bread flour
300ml milk, warm
14g dried yeast
100g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
50g melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
¼ teaspoon cloves, ground
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
150g chocolate chips
75g plain flour
6 tablespoons water
Apricot jam, for brushing
- Place the warm milk (careful, the milk can’t be too hot or it will retard the yeast and the dough won’t rise) with a spoon of the caster sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the yeast and set aside for 15 minutes or until foamy.
- In a second bowl, combine the flour, rest of sugar and salt. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the yeast mixture, yolk and melted butter (again, can’t be too hot). First stir with a wooden spoon, then with your hands and form a soft, sticky dough. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a lightly floured bowl, sprinkle the top with flour, cover with a tea towel/ plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
- With the dough still in the bowl, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and chocolate chips. Kneed the dough making sure everything is evenly distributed. Cover and leave it to rise for another 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Divide the dough into 15 even portions (I weighed mine to approximately 75g) and roll each portion into a smooth balls.
- Arrange the balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for another 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200℃.
- To make the paste, place the flour with water into a bowl and create a thick paste. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and create a cross on each bun.
- Bake the buns for 20 minutes or until golden.
- Meanwhile, gently warm the jam in a saucepan. Whilst the buns still hot, brush the jam over the top of each for a nice shine. Allow to cool completely before serving.