Easter Chocolate Hot Cross Buns…Take 1

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This time last year I was planning to make hot cross buns for the first time ever… and for some reason that eludes me it just never quite happened.   I was dreaming of a spicy light textured bread, filled with plump sultana’s that filled the house with a wonderful aroma’s whilst they were baking.  For me the commercial versions seem to always be too gluey, lacking in flavor and appeal.  I will warn you all that I am a traditionalist   So I kept the scrappy bit of paper that I’d scribbled the recipe on from a newspaper article thinking I’d try again the follow year.  And here we are and again it almost didn’t happen again.

Firstly I will say that these did not turn out as I expected, however they were still good.  I title this take 1 as I’m going to take another shot at it with the knowledge I now have for making this batch and what I know from my other dough recipes and see if I can’t create something that suits my expectations a little more.

This recipe I found to make very dense buns and I had a really difficult time getting the dough to prove.  In the time that I created my whole cinnamon bun twist this dough didn’t even start and everything I know about yeast says that this mix should have been the more active one because of the sugar in the recipe.   In the end a little boost from the warming setting on the oven helped to get it started and then it was off and running.  I will say though that yeast is a tricky creature and it may have just been a random anomaly so I would still follow this recipe and expect normal results.

So what did I do?

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Easter Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1 cup apricot nectar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g melted butter
  • 1 tbl sp dried yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup warmed milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk chocolate bits.
  • 1 tbl sp apricot jam & 2 tbl sp hot water for glazing

cross mix

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2 tsp castor sugar
  • 2 tbl sp water

Soak your sultana’s in apricot nectar for a few hours to plump up, and then drain.

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Melt the butter in a pan and then add the milk to warm. Bring to the temperature where it feels slightly warm to touch (about 37c), being careful not to overheat the mix as it will kill the yeast if it’s too hot.

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Combine all dry ingredients in a big bowl.  Add the yeast and sugar to the milk mixture, stir well and then add to the dry ingredients.  Knead the sultana’s and choc bits into the dough and keep going until the dough is smooth and elastic.

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Allow to prove.  Should double in size.

Knock down your dough again and then separate into 12 pieces (I actually got 15 out of this mix).  Place the balls close to each other on a baking tray and allow to rise again.

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Combine the cross mixture of flour, sugar and water until you have a firm paste.  Too wet and you will end up with a mess a little bit like mine.  Place into a piping bag (or a freezer bag with the corner cut off like mine) and pipe your crosses across the buns.

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Bake for approx 10 mins at 200c

Then turn down the oven and bake for a further 20-25 mins or until golden brown.

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Glaze your buns when they are hot from the oven. Combine the apricot jam and water and then brush over your buns whilst still warm.

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Eat warm straight from the oven, or toast and either way add lashings of butter and maybe even a touch of marmalade.

Happy Easter and Happy Eating,

Leah

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