A great thing about this time of year is all the sweet things that appear in the shops. Hot Cross Buns used to only be around at Easter but nowadays they seem to have been available since January!
In any case, I thought it was about time that I had a go at making my own. I am pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to make – you just need the time required to let them rise.
I did cheat a little and left off the traditional ‘cross’ of flour paste – hence me calling them Easter Buns rather than Hot Cross Buns! I am also not keen on the usual currants that are included, so I swapped those for chocolate chips.
Ingredients – makes 12 buns:
- 4 cups plain (all purpose) flour
- 2 sachets of dried yeast (7g/0.25oz size sachets)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup small chocolate chips (I used dark choc chips)
- 40g/1.5oz unsalted butter
- 300ml/10 fl oz milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon, salt and choc chips) in a large bowl.
- Put the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, or until melted.
- Add the milk to the butter, stir to combine, then microwave for about 1 minute or until the mixture is lukewarm.
- Add the milk/butter and also the eggs to the dry ingredients. Mix with a flat bladed knife until a soft dough is formed.
- Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth (5-10 minutes).
- Spray the large bowl (you can use the one you just mixed the dough in as long as doesn’t have any sticky residue on it) with a little cooking spray, then put the dough in and cover with cling wrap.
- Set aside for approximately 1.5 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once risen, punch the dough down with your fist.
- Knead slightly, then divide out into 12 portions.
- Round each portion into a ball, and place approx 1cm/0.5in apart on a non-stick baking tray (you can spray the tray with a little cooking spray if you like).
- Cover the tray with cling wrap and set aside for 30 minutes until the buns double in size.
- Meanwhile, heat your oven to 190C/170C fan forced/370F.
- Once buns have risen, remove the cling wrap and bake for 20 minutes or until the buns are golden.
- Mix the boiling water and sugar in a small bowl and, as soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush the glaze over the top.
- Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes.