I love baking, love it. But for some reason when it comes to hot cross buns I usually buy them from the bakery or supermarket.
But this weekend we had a bit of free time so I whipped up some myself taking an old traditional hot cross bun recipe and modifying to add chocolate chips, removing all that unnecessary dried fruit and changing the bun into a chocolate bread with a lightly fragrant cinnamon base.
Deliciously perfect just baked Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
I don't know why it took me so long, look at that picture, delicious just baked softly fragrant buns and oh my goodness the house smells even better than those buns look.
Plus it cost me way less than the bakery ones, so economical as well.
They were super easy as I used my stand mixer's dough hook attachment and saved about 10 minutes time of hand kneading, although don't worry, the recipe will work out just fine hand kneading if you don't have a dough hook/stand mixer.
I find the key things for successful baking with yeast is to not overheat and to prove the yeast prior to mixing into the other ingredients. Oh and time, you can't really rush it, I made the ones in the picture in about 2 1/2 hours including rising and baking time but I would normally set aside at least 3 hours.
Chocolate Hot Cross Bun Recipe makes 12 large hot cross buns
I use premix royal icing mixed with water to a piping consistency.
2 X 7g packets yeast 14g total (1/2 oz total)
1 tsp caster sugar
3/4 cup milk (6 fl oz)
50 g unsalted butter (1 3/4oz) melted/softened
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk (4 fl oz) extra
525 g plain (18 1/2 oz all purpose flour)
70 g caster sugar (2 1/2 oz)
25 g cocoa (7/8 oz)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
230 grams chocolate chips (8 oz) # the baking kind that hold shape.
1/2 cup royal icing mixed with 1/2 tsp cocoa and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.
Put milk in microwave safe jug and heat in microwave for around 15- 20 seconds at high so that it is warm to touch (not hot). Using a fork whisk in yeast and 1 tsp sugar and allow to sit around 10 mins until needed.
The yeast should froth up like this
Sift the flour, cocoa, remaining caster sugar, cinnamon and salt together and set aside until required.
In the bowl a large stand mixer with a scraper beater attachment or regular beater, place the butter, egg and 1/2 cup milk and mix for 30 seconds at low speed. Add the yeast mixture and mix another 10 seconds, then add the sifted flour mixture and beat at low speed until all the dry mixture has been incorporated. The mix will be quite sticky.
Switch to a dough hook and mix at medium low speed for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth and elastic.* If you do not have a stand mix and dough hook you can knead by hand for around 10 minutes.
Spray a large bowl with oil, place the dough into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and pop in a warm place to rest for around 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the mixture has doubled in size. I use my oven and turn it up to 50C for a few minutes then turn it off before placing the bowl into the oven, if required I turn the oven light on. It should be just warm not hot.
Once the dough has risen remove from bowl, punch it down and mix in the chocolate chips quickly. I used baking chips which do not melt very quickly, the higher quality chocolate will melt and become a sticky mess.
Dough should be smooth and flexible
Lightly spray a baking tray around 20cm X 30 cm with oil. Shape the dough into 12 even rolls and place into the tray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest/rise for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 190 C (fan forced). Remove the plastic wrap from baking tray and pop the buns in the oven for 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 160 C and cook for a further 20 minutes.
Allow to cool a little. Pop the royal icing into a zip lock bag, cut a small hole in the corner and pipe crossed onto the top of the buns.
Best served immediately although still good next day. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.
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Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission.
Cute dress from Target Australia