Spiced chocolate hot cross buns
( MAKES 12 )
Begin this recipe a day ahead to allow time for the dried fruit to soften.
There is the option of making them with or without the chocolate, as we all have our personal favourites. Change up the spices to suit you as well, remembering to go easy on the more full- flavoured spices such as cloves and cardamom. Mixed spice or ground allspice work well here too.
Serve buns warm from the oven or if eating the next day, gently reheat. Serve with lashings of butter.
If you are making and kneading by hand you will need to knead for 10-15 minutes to achieve a smooth dough with a great stretch, for the best result use a strong bread flour which contains a high level of protein (gluten).
|¼ cup||Candied peel, finely chopped|
|4 cups||Strong bread flour, (explained in intro) or high-grade flour|
|1 Tbsp||Dark cocoa powder, optional|
|2 Tbsp||Raw sugar|
|2 tsp||Active dried yeast|
|250 ml||Full cream milk, warmed|
|70 g||Butter, softened|
|1 tsp||Ground cinnamon|
|½ tsp||Ground ginger|
|½ tsp||Grated nutmeg|
|¼ tsp||Ground cardamom|
|¼ tsp||Ground cloves|
|12 pieces||Dark chocolate, optional|
- To begin, place the sultanas and currants in a heatproof bowl, cover with warm water and leave to soak for about 30 minutes. Drain the fruit into a sieve and add the peel. Cover and set aside overnight.
- To make the buns, sift the flour, salt and cocoa powder, if using, into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Place 1 tablespoon of the measured sugar into a small bowl. Sprinkle over the dried yeast and pour in half of the warmed milk. Leave the yeast to froth, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining sugar and milk to the flour along with the butter and egg.
- Pour in the yeast mixture then begin to mix until the mixture forms a dough, then continue to knead until the dough begins to look smooth and shiny. (If the dough is too sticky add a little extra flour, remembering for a great dough, the wetter the better, but within reason).
- Add the spices and continue to knead the dough until it is smooth, shiny and elastic.
- Remove bowl from the mixer and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench top. Sprinkle the fruit over the dough and gently incorporate into the dough.
- Wash and dry the bowl, then lightly oil. Place in the dough and cover then leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. This will take at least 1 hour.
- Knock back the dough by punching it down and bringing it into a ball, then tip out onto the bench top.
- Cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Mould each piece of dough into a round ball placing a piece of chocolate in the centre, ensuring it is completely covered in dough, then continue to make the dough into a ball.
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the buns on the baking tray, leaving a small space between each bun. Cover and place in a warm place to prove until almost doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C.
- To make the cross, whisk the flour and oil together. Add the water and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cover to prevent a skin forming.
- Fit a piping bag with a 3mm piping nozzle (or use a small plastic bag) and fill with the cross mixture. If using a plastic bag, snip the corner. Pipe crosses on top of the buns. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- To make the glaze, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and place over low heat. Stir gently until the sugar has dissolved then turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Skim off any foam that comes to the top and remove from the heat.
- Remove the buns from the oven and straightaway brush each bun all over with the bun glaze.
TIPS - To roll a bun, cup your hand over the piece of dough and apply downwards pressure and move your hand around in a circular motion. Do this on a bench top that you haven’t lightly floured, otherwise the dough just slips. Importantly, when working with yeast breads work in a warm, draught-free kitchen.
See more of Kathy's baking recipes