Even though I buy Hot Cross buns during Easter time - I also like to make them. Having fresh hot-cross buns straight out of the oven - there just isn't any substitute. They aren't that hard to make and I generally make a few dozen at a time.... eat some, freeze some, sometimes give some away.
This won't be my last batch of Easter I can assure you!
I've made two variations, the traditional type - with currants and spices and the more modern version, with chocolate. You may like to omit the fruit or add orange zest to the chocolate ones to make jaffa or even some pitted cherries and a splash of rum if you like.. as I always say - your only limit is your imagination!
Ingredients (per batch)
4 cups plain flour
1 tb dried yeast (15g)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa (chocolate only)
1 tb cinnamon
1 tb allspice (traditional only)
1/2 tsp cardamom (traditional only)
2 tb orange marmalade (traditional only)
1/2 cup currants (traditional only)
1 cup dark chocolate chips (chocolate only)
In a bowl mix your flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon (and cocoa if you doing chocolate, allspice and cardamom if you are doing traditional). Stir until well combined.
In a jug or small bowl, measure out your milk and pop into the microwave for about 30 seconds. Add eggs (and marmelade if doing traditional) and give it a whisk with a fork to combine.
If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, put on speed 2 (or low) and slowly mix in the wet ingredients. If you don't have a stand mixer - make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and pour gradually and mix with a large spoon until it comes together.
One all the dry ingredients are combined with the wet, knead by hands for about 10 minutes and on low in the mixer for about 3 minutes.
Lastly add your currants or chocolate chips and knead in gently until evenly distributing.
Place in a greased bowl and cover with cling film.
Place in a warm place for an hour or two until it doubles in size.
I will warn you, at this point the traditional mix makes you want to eat it! But resist....
Measure it out into equal portions (I make mine roughly 110g each, traditional makes 2 and chocolate makes 14) and place on a greased tray
Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees c.
They are looking like almost-real hot cross buns now!
If you prefer actual chocolate crosses (I haven't bothered) don't put them on at this point.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Whilst they are baking you can make a glaze with 1/2 cup caster sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and boil until the sugar has dissolved.
Once the buns are out of the oven, brush with glaze. Be generous.
Leave to dry before serving.
If you prefer to have chocolate crosses, glaze buns first, allow to dry and then melt 100g dark chocolate in the microwave on 50% power for 1 minute intervals until melted. Place in ziplock bag as per plain cross mix and apply.
So what's your favourite? Traditional or chocolate? Or both? Why?
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