Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns


Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One ha' penny, two ha' penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One ha' penny,
Two ha' penny,
Hot Cross Buns![1]

If your child, like mine played a recorder in a school orchestra, I will not be surprised if you could hear never ending Hot cross buns tune in your ears every time you saw a package of the Hot cross buns in a supermarket. My children are grown now and it's been awhile since that happened to me the last time, but also since I made the buns. I am not sure, whether it's because I was looking for a new recipe to try this Easter and paid closer attention, or their popularity is really increasing - they are simply everywhere, every magazine, book, supermarket, bakery - in all shape and sizes with but so many taste varieties - traditional with raisins, then toffee, orange, cranberry, apple, coffee, cinnamon, the list goes on.. I read recipe after recipe, hoping that I would reinvent the buns to our satisfaction, but gave up after realising that none of them sound more appealing than the ones we all like so much - the Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns.

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

450 g bread flour
1/2 tsp  salt
15 g fresh yeast
20 ml warm water to dissolve yeast
1 tsp of spices  ( I used cinnamon,clove, pinch of nutmeg)
50 gr sugar
100 g chocolate drops
50 g butter
200 ml warm milk
1 egg

For the cross dough:
40 g flour
10 g soft butter

For the glaze:
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water

Mix the yeast with water, tsp sugar and tsp flour and let it rise until frothy and bubly . Combine the flour with the salt,mixed spice and the rest of dry ingredients, then add the yeast.

Next add the butter and pour the hand-hot milk over the butter followed by the beaten egg, mix everything to a dough, cover the bowl with a plastic bag and leave it  to rise until doubled in size.

Then turn the dough out on to a work surface and punch out the air, then divide the mixture into twelve equal pieces.Take one by one piece of the dough and shape them into the round rolls

Arrange them on the lined or greased baking sheet (allowing plenty of room for expansion). Leave them to rise once more inside a large, lightly greased polythene bag for 45 minutes to an hour, or again until about double the size. 

Meanwhile, if you want to make dough crosses, put the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter. Add just enough cold water to form a dough then roll it out thinly on a lightly floured surface to an oblong about 12cm by 16cm then cut it into 24 strips.

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.

When the second rising is up, brush the strips with water, to make them stick, and make a cross on top of each bun trimming away any excess dough with a small knife. 

Alternatively you can use a small sharp or serrated knife to score a cross in the top of each bun. 

Bake the buns for 15 minutes near the centre of the oven. Then, while they're cooking make the glaze in a small saucepan by slowly melting together the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water over a gentle heat until the sugar granules have dissolved and you have a clear syrup. 

As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush them immediately with the glaze while they are still warm. If you are not serving them on the day that you bake them its best to freeze them as soon as they are cool. 

Recipe adapted from Delia Smith online


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