Easter Time! Easy Choc Cross and Hot Cross Buns

20 Apr

I thought I’d try my hand at making some hot cross buns.  Tis the season and all.  They’re easy, but you need to set aside a bit of time to let the dough rise.  Maybe colour some eggs while you’re waiting or something.  Enjoy!

Ingredients (makes 16 buns)

14 g dried yeast

1/4 cup caster sugar

1 1/2 cups warm milk (warm on stove with sugar)

4 cups plain flour (sifted)

1 teaspoon bread improver (optional, but it helps so so much)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

(Optional) 1 teaspoon mixed spice

60g butter

1 cup sultanas/raisins (I use a mix of both, but either works.  You can even add mixed peel etc.)

1 egg

Flour Paste

1/2 cup plain flour

2 teaspoons caster sugar

1/3 cup water

Method

Heat milk and sugar in saucepan until lightly steaming.  Place in a small jug or bowl and put in a warm place until frothy (about 10 minutes)

Yeast rising - make sure your jug is big enough!

Meanwhile sift flour, improver and spices into a large bowl, rub in butter.  Messy stuff.

Flour, improver, spices

Tip - make sure you chop the butter up before adding it to the flour. Makes life easier.

Stir in the yeast mixture once it’s nice and frothy, add whisked egg and the fruit…

Add an egg...

…mix together until a soft sticky dough.

Tough mixing.

Cover with cling wrap and place in warm area to proof (dough will approximately double in size).  About 45mins.

Rise my pretty! RISE!

Grease a square/rectangular cake tin with butter and preheat the oven to 220ºC.

Once dough has risen, take it out and knead it for a few minutes until smooth.  Don’t worry, it’s meant to get smaller again!  Now divide up into balls and place in the tin.  The more you cram them in the bigger rolls you will get.

Place the tin in a warm place once again, let the dough rise for about 10minutes, or until the buns come over the top of the tin.

Now make the flour paste for the crosses (blend the flour and sugar together, then gradually add water until you have a paste).  Place it in a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.  Pipe crosses onto buns.

Mmm. Flour paste.

The CROSS in HOT CROSS BUN

Bake the buns for about 20minutes.  Make sure you are watching them in the last few minutes as mine almost burned!

So close to burning... *sigh*

When ready, turn them out onto a wire rack to cool.

Optional: you can glaze the buns to make them sweeter and stickier on the top.  Just mix 1 tbsp caster sugar, 1 tsp gelatine and 1 tbsp water together over a low heat (do not boil) and brush over the tops.

Yummy! Serve with a generous dollop of whipped butter.  I like to jazz it up a little by making flavoured butters such as honey butter, maple syrup butter and cocoa.

Steamy.

Choc cross buns

These are by far my favourite thing to eat over easter.  I love the little chocolate chips and they go amazingly with butter.

There are a couple of tweaks to the original recipe if you would like to make these.

–       instead of adding in mixed spice, you add cocoa.  I add 2 tablespoons, but I’m a chocoholic.  Add to taste.

–       Instead of adding the raisins and sultanas you want to add chocolate chips (YUM).  This is tricky though, because they will melt if you add them in too early.  So, you should add the chocolate chips after you have allowed the dough to rise for 45 minutes.  So, just before you shape the dough into balls knead the chocolate into the dough.

Can't ever have enough chocolate.

–       Lastly, the flour paste turns into chocolate paste!  Sub ¼ cup plain flour with ¼ cup cocoa and there you have it.  Easy peasy.

Flour, cocoa, water. Too easy.

Mixed!

Note: The chocolate buns do not taste as nice straight out of the oven as the traditional hot cross buns do.  Who knows why… anyhow if you chomp into one and think “eww this isn’t what I was expecting…damn you chefcrissy!!” let them cool down a little and then have another bite.

The chocolate flavor really starts to come through when they are at room temp.

YUM!

So there you have it.  Easy Hot Cross and Choc cross buns for Easter.  Happy Easter baking everyone!

Tea and butter required. Easter chicken optional.

And, as usual, your comments make me happy so spread the love and leave me a message!

 

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