I can’t deny it, I’m a complete chocoholic! If that sounds like you, or someone you know, why not try out my delicious take on the classic hot cross bun recipe this Easter? A warning though – the smell of these fresh from the oven can make them completely irresistable!
250ml full fat milk
50 ml water
75g caster sugar
500g strong white bread flour
10g fast action dried yeast
1 large orange – zest only
½ tsp mixed spice
Seeds from 4 cardamom pods, crushed in a pestle and mortar
150g dark chocolate chips
For the crosses
75g plain flour
5 – 6 tbsps water
Makes 15 buns
- Warm the milk, water and butter gently in a pan, stirring to stop it sticking, just until the butter has melted. Do not let the mixture get too hot or begin to steam or boil.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the caster sugar into the warmed milk mixture. Stir and set the pan aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, yeast, mixed spice, crushed cardamom seeds, orange zest and chocolate chips. Ensure that the salt and yeast are kept on separate sides of the bowl when you’re weighing them out, as salt can kill the yeast in direct contact.
- Check that the milk mixture has cooled, then whisk in the egg. Add the milk and egg mixture into the dry ingredients.
- Using a dough scraper, spoon or even your hands, bring the dough together, working until no dry flour remains.
- Turn the dough out of the bowl. It’s important not to flour the surface, as this adds extra flour into your dough and will dry it out. The dough will be very wet and sticky to begin with. Use your dough scraper and fingers, or just your fingers, to pinch sections of the dough and pull them out to the side, then fold back into the centre. Work your way around the ball of dough pinching and stretching, scraping the dough off the bench as you go.
- You can watch my video showing how to knead a very wet dough here. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and silky.
- Form the dough into a ball and place it back in the bowl. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to prove for 1.5 – 2 hours.
- Once proved, turn the dough out of the bowl and divide it into equal pieces. A 75g piece of dough will give you large hot cross buns as shown.
- Roll each piece into a tightly shaped ball, tucking the sides under and ensuring a smooth surface. Try and tuck any escaping chocolate chips underneath, otherwise they’ll burn in the oven.
- Place the buns on two lined baking trays. Cover the buns with oiled cling film and leave to prove again for at least an hour until they are well risen. Pre-heat the oven to 210C.
- Once the buns have risen, remove the clingfilm and pipe on the crosses. Add a tablespoon of water at a time into the plain flour, mixing well after each addition, until you’ve made a thick paste. Use the paste to pipe a thin cross onto each bun (video here on using baking paper to make a piping bag, though I didn’t use a nozzle in mine, just cut a very small hole in the bottom of the cone).
- Bake the buns in the oven for 15 – 17 minutes. I like to turn the trays and swop them between oven shelves after about 10 minutes, to ensure an even bake. When fully baked, the buns should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped underneath.
- Transfer the buns from the baking trays to a cooling rack and leave them to cool. Then enjoy!
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, or have any further breadmaking questions, do let me know in the comments! Or why not check out more breadmaking recipes, hints and tips on the blog.
You can also join my supportive community of home bread bakers over on Facebook. From sharing great bakes and recipes to asking and answering key breadmaking questions, there’s plenty to learn and join in with.