Soft, fluffy hot cross buns studded with dark chocolate chunks. The perfect Easter treat.
There’s a certain glumness that accompanies the arrival of Autumn. Almost as if my spirit wanes slightly when the leaves lose their glorious green glow, the flowers start looking ever so slightly drabber and there’s a noticeable chill in the air. Don’t get me wrong, I love the cooler months but there is something a little more depressing about their arrival than that of spring and summer. I suppose, that is why we have comfort food. Warming, carb-loaded and rich food frighten away the blues and leave you feeling taken care of. Which is I suppose why when you go back home, you want your mom’s macaroni & cheese/Roast chicken/Chicken pie/Lasagna.
Having said that, this time of the year also brings with it Easter eggs and hot cross buns and no-one can be angry about that. And let me just say this: I don’t get people who don’t like hot cross buns. I am in no way a fan of raisins but good grief, there is something about a hot cross bun that gets me as excited as teenage girl at a One Direction concert. Eaten as is, toasted then slathered in butter, left to go stale then drenched in custard and baked and served with even more custard. I want it all. I bake hot cross buns every year around Easter but this year I decided to amp it up a little because well, why the hell not?
I added a lot of chocolate chunks to this batch because what’s better than chocolate IN carbs? Not much, let’s be honest. If you are one of those people who don’t like raisins, you could omit the raisins and just add chocolate but I kind of like the fruity burst of sweetness the raisins add, especially with the addition of bitter dark chocolate. This is also a fabulous recipe if you want to be able to bake the buns in the morning before breakfast but don’t want to get up at 3am to knead the dough. If you want to take the overnight route, make the buns all the way up to forming them then cover them well with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight. Take them out of the fridge 2 hours before you want to bake them so they get a chance to come back to room temperature and rise a little again before baking them off.
There is just simply nothing as wonderful as having a hot, straight-from-the-oven hot cross bun with a cup of coffee for breakfast so add these to your must-make list for Easter. You won’t be disappointed.
- 500 g flour
- 20 g dry yeast
- 100 g sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- pinch of salt
- 50 g butter melted
- 2 large eggs
- 250 ml full cream milk
- 1 cup approximately 150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, spices and salt in a bowl and mix until combined.
In a measuring jug, whisk together the melted butter, eggs and milk then pour into the dry ingredients.
Mix until a sticky, soft dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
Place the dough into a bowl and cover with clingfilm and allow to rise for 1 hour
When the dough has risen, remove from the bowl and knead in the raisins and chocolate. Return to the bowl, cover and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Form dough balls roughly the size of golf balls out of the risen dough and place on the prepared baking tray.
Mix together the flour and water and pipe crosses onto the buns.
Allow to rise for another 30 minutes then place in the pre-heated oven.
Allow to bake for 25-30 minutes until the hot cross buns are golden brown and cooked through.
While the buns are baking, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan and allow to come to a boil.
When the buns have baked, remove them from the oven and immediately brush the glaze over the top.
Allow to cool slightly before serving with butter.