Easter is just around the corner which means chocolate and hot cross buns for everyone! I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of hot cross buns so this time I took out all the dried fruit and added in some tasty choc chips instead! Like I already don’t eat enough chocolate at Easter but anyways…
These were a little messy to make as the dough was quite sticky and the choc chips were melting onto my hands as I was kneading it. But I do love baking yeast-based things and my favourite part is seeing the dough rise into a big puffy ball and then punching the air out of it before kneading it for the second rise heh. It’s one of life’s greatest pleasures, I reckon.
The hot cross buns turned out more dense and cakey rather than light and fluffy, which I think actually suited the flavours since it was almost like eating chocolate cake, with more choc chips studded inside. There’s also some cinnamon in there which was hard to discern since the cocoa powder and choc chips overpower it. Next time I think I’d add more ground cinnamon to give it a bit more spice.
They’re best fresh out of the oven with a pat of fresh butter sandwiched in between two halves of a bun. But nuke them in the microwave for a couple of seconds the next day to get them warm, soft and melty again. Hope everyone has a safe and happy Easter! May the Easter bunny bring you lots of chocolate :)
Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns
adapted from taste.com.au
375ml warm milk
7g dried yeast
55g caster sugar
60g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly whisked
565g plain flour
35g cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
250g choc chips (I used a mixture of white, milk and dark)
For the flour paste
80ml cold water
For the glaze
55g caster sugar
1. Combine the milk, yeast and 1 tbsp of the sugar in a small bowl. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 10 minutes or until frothy.
2. Combine the yeast mixture, butter and egg in a jug and whisk to combine. Combine the flour, salt, cinnamon and remaining sugar in a bowl. Add the choc chips and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture and stir until just combined, then use your hands to bring the dough together.
3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes or until smooth and elastic. If the dough is sticky, add some flour a little at a time. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease and line a 20cm x 30cm cake pan. Punch the dough down with your fist. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Divide dough into even pieces (I made 15 smaller buns, but you can also make 12 larger buns) and shape each portion into a ball. Arrange dough portions, side by side, in the prepared pan. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes or until dough has risen 2cm.
5. Meanwhile, mix the remaining flour and water together in a small bowl until a smooth paste forms. Place in a piping bag and pipe a continuous line down the centre of each row of buns, lengthways and widthways, to form crosses. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or cooked through (buns are ready when they sound hollow when tapped on the base).
6. Meanwhile, put the sugar and water into a small saucepan over high heat. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved. When the buns are done, turn onto a wire rack. Brush syrup over the buns. Serve warm with butter, or toasted.