My fabulous friend Suzie has a recipe for Hot Cross Buns on her website and she assures me that they’re very easy, so I decided to have a go at making them.
However, I’m not the biggest fan of sultanas and come Easter you’ll generally see me picking the wretched things out of my hot cross buns before toasting them, I even pick them out of cereal. So I decided to have a go at replacing the sultanas with chocolate chips.
When I made these I did a direct swap of the chocolate chips with sultanas – and some of the chocolate melted leaving a lovely chocolate bread. I reckon you could probably leave the choc chips until much later in the process to avoid some of that melting.
Here’s my version of Suzie’s recipe.
1 tablespoon dried yeast or 30g fresh yeast
125ml warm water
185ml extra water
500g white strong flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
150g chocolate chips
PASTE FOR CROSSES
30g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon caster sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup of icing sugar
1/3 cup of water
In a small bowl, put yeast, 2 teaspoons of the flour, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 125ml warm water and stir well. Leave until bubbles appear on the surface, it should be frothy and slightly increased in size.
Sift the remaining flour and spices into a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Rub the butter into the flour with the tips of your fingers. Stir in the chocolate chips. Make a well in the centre, stir in the yeast mixture and up to 185ml of water to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until smooth, add more flour if necessary, to prevent sticking. Place the dough in a large floured bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a drought-free place for 30-40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 200′c. Lightly grease a baking tray. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently to deflate. Divide into 12 portions and roll each into a ball. Place the balls on the tray, just touching each other. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave for 20 minutes or until nearly doubled in size.
To make the crosses, mix the flour, sugar and water into a paste. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe crosses on top of the buns. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. To make the glaze combine the icing sugar and water together. Brush over hot buns and leave to cool.