I’ve only recently started to love hot cross buns. I’m not super crazy about fruit in bread but I do enjoy the mandarin earl gray buns they sell at Waitrose. Strange to making hot cross buns when it’s snowing outside! The heat in our apartment doesn’t really work that great either so I spent a lot of the past weekend with the duvet wrapped around me.
The recipe makes about 20 buns but I didn’t need that many all at once so after the second raise I wrapped and froze the buns to bake later. I placed 4 buns in a cake tin so they look a little more free form than traditional hot cross buns. They taste absolutely delicious though!
The photo on Butter Baking looks perfect. A lot more perfect than mine. I hate when that happens! My buns like they’re whole wheat because there’s so much chocolate going on here. Also my oven stinks and browns everything way to quickly! We have a fan oven and I think I need to adjust it down slightly.
As you can see the buns do not need any more chocolate so I made the cross using icing sugar and milk instead of melted chocolate. There is so much chocolate here that you can’t even see the bread. I would recommend about 1 cup of chocolate chips and not the 2 1/2 in the original recipe.
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 sachets fast action yeast (21g)
4 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
50g unsalted butter, melted
2 oranges, zested
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbs boiling water
60g white chocolate, melted
- In a medium bowl mix together the milk and sugar. Sprinkle in the yeast and set aside for 15 minutes. The yeast should foamy and the mixture will increase in size.
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in butter, egg, zest and yeast mixture. With the dough hook knead on low speed for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Put in a warm place and let raise for 90 minutes until double in size. Punch down the dough and pour in the chocolate chips. Knead a few times.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C (392 F) and line a large pan with parchment paper. Place balls of dough side by side in the pan cover with cling film and let raise for 20 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. If you're baking a few buns at a time cook for a few minutes less.
- While the buns cook make the glaze. Mix the sugar and water together and brush over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven. Once the buns are cooled slightly make the crosses with the melted chocolate (I used a powdered sugar glaze instead).
adapted from Butter Baking