This is the first time I’ve ever made hot cross buns and I’m not sure why, I think all the steps put me off. But I found them quite easy and fun to make. I made these using all purpose flour, which is fine but I’ll definitely use high grade flour next time, just to make them lighter and keep longer.
Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
2 tsp dry yeast
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed
1/4 cup white sugar, divided
4 cups high grade white flour or plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
60g butter, chilled, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dark choc chips or left over easter eggs broken into small pieces
1/2 cup plain flour
4 tsp caster sugar
4 tbsp water
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup just boiled water
Buns: Grease a 23cm square cake pan. Place yeast, milk and 1 tbsp of sugar in a bowl. Whisk to dissolve yeast. Cover. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until foamy.
Put flour, cocoa and butter in a food processor and blitz until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add yeast mixture, egg and remaining sugar and blitz to combine (just a few seconds should do). Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Punch down dough. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Add chocolate chips. Knead to combine. Roll into 16 balls. Place in prepared pan. Cover. Set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until slightly risen.
Pre heat oven to 200C/180C fan forced
Flour Paste: Meanwhile, make paste by combining flour, sugar and cold water in a bowl (you might need to add more water). Spoon into a snap-lock bag or piping bag. Snip a tiny corner from bag. Pipe crosses onto buns. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180C/160C fan-forced. Cook for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Turn onto wire rack (cross side up).
While the buns are cooking, whisk the sugar and boiled water in a heatproof bowl until dissolved. Microwave on high for 30 seconds if you need to help dissolve the sugar. Brush on top of the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.
They won’t look perfect but that’s what home baking is all about.