Hot cross buns are a traditional English Easter classic! If, like me, you’re not really a massive fan and would relish a new twist on this old classic – you’re going to want to read on my friend. Speaking of classics though, did you know it’s really easy to make your own homemade doughnuts too? You should absolutely check that out!
The traditionalists among you probably aren’t gonna be happy about my interpretation of this Easter treat. But for far too long have us sultana & raisin hating chocolate lovers suffered! No longer do we have to turn our noses up at these sweet, fruit filled buns… no more do we have to cower in fear at the horror of finding a raisin instead of a chocolate chip! For I give you, the chocolate chip hot cross bun!!
Ok, that was a bit dramatic but this is pretty amazing to me! I’ve always strongly disliked hot cross buns for the sole reason that they are crammed full of raisins & sultanas. But with these? Problem solved!
Here is what you will need to make 12.
For the Crosses
For the Glaze
Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl. (Or an electric stand mixer.) Add the salt & sugar to one side and the yeast to the other.
Warm the milk gently in a saucepan then add this, along with the softened butter, eggs & half the water to the bowl.
Get your hands stuck straight in and mix it all up. (Or switch onto a low speed if using an electric stand mixer.) Add more water little by little until there is no more flour on the sides of the bowl. (you might not need all of it, use your judgement.) It should be soft but will be quite a wet, rough dough.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a good 10 minutes. You will need to use a dough scraper as it’s a wet dough and will stick to the worktop no matter how much flour you use! (Or mix on a medium speed in an electric stand mixer for about 5 minutes.)
You should be left with a soft smooth dough that is no longer sticky.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to prove for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, stretch it out and scatter over the chocolate chips, mixed peel, orange zest, apple & cinnamon. Knead until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pop back into the lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for another hour.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold the dough inwards on itself until all the air has been knocked out. Then divide into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls.
Place on a large baking sheet (or sheets) lined with baking paper or a silicone baking mat, then cover with a light, damp tea towel and leave to prove for another hour. They should at least double in size and spring back quickly when prodded with your finger.
Preheat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C.
When your buns are ready, bake in the preheated oven for approx 20mins until a nice deep golden colour.
Meanwhile, to make the glaze, warm the apricot jam with approx 2 tbsp water and pass through a sieve.
As soon as hot cross buns come out the oven, brush all over with the glaze and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
To make the ‘cross’, sift the icing sugar into a bowl then add the water a little at a time. Stir until you get a thick icing. (Don’t make it too runny or it won’t hold it’s shape.)
Load a piping bag with a round nozzle (or just snip the end if you don’t have one) and pipe crosses over each bun.
I was sincerely surprised at how much I loved the flavour of these gorgeous Hot Cross Buns. As a former ‘seriously fussy eater’, if you’d have told me I’d be eating a roll with ‘bits’ in I probably would have laughed in your face! Especially with mixed peel and apple chunks inside! It’s a really beautiful combination of flavours though, I particularly love the punch you get from the orange zest, very tasty!
Happy Easter all! Until next time.
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