Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Plain and Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

                                 Plain hot cross buns

                                Chocolate hot cross buns

I love hot cross buns. It baffles me why I always wait another year to eat these fruity, spicy delights. It's like I forget all about them until easter rolls around again, and my love affair for the buns starts all over. The only thing I dont like is the 'cross'! The pasty flour and water cross, blegh! I knew if I was going to make these doughy delights I had to make the 'cross' tasty.

I read up a little bit about the hot cross buns, from Wiki.

English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or become mouldy during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone who is ill is said to help them recover.

This year I ate one of the most delicious buns i've ever had, from Brasserie Bread. It was so lovely. Soft, fruity, spicy and not too sweet! Just how I love them. They also make a sour cherry and chocolate one, heavenly.

There is no where near where I live to buy such delightful treats, so I decided I would give it a go and make my own this year!

I wanted a traditional one, with fruit and all. I don't care for the fruitless ones, I dont see the point, just like a hairless cat in my eyes! Any baked goods that have the kind of medicinal power that is described above, I certainly dont want to mess around with too much! But I also wanted to try something a little different like the sour cherry and chocolate buns I tasted from Brasserie Bread.

These buns are so good toasted with lots of butter!

I adapted the recipe from this for my hot cross buns.

Plain Hot Cross Buns

4 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons sweet spices
pinch salt
1 cup currants
50 grams butter melted
2 eggs beaten lightly
1 1/2 cups warm milk
zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon

4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablesppon water

Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Leave on medium heat for about 12 minutes just to make a sticky glaze, DO NOT colour! Set it aside. You can reheat it, before you need to glaze the buns, if it gets to thick.

Preheat oven 230C.

Place the yeast, 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar and 1/2 cup warm milk in a small bowl. Wait about 10 minutes for the yeast to activate, it will froth and bubble.
Place all the ingredients into your mixmaster/kitchenaid with a dough hook attachment. Mix for about 10 minutes. Set aside for at least an hour for the dough to rise and double in volume.

Roll dough out onto a floured surface and give it a light knead 1-2 minutes. Cut the dough into 4 and shape into logs. Then cut those into 4 so you have 16 buns.
place the dough buns onto a baking tray, give them enough room to expand. Cover with cling wrap, set aside for 30 minutes to puff up and rise.

Bake them in a hot oven for 25 minutes. Brush with the sugar syrup/glaze while still warm. Set aside to cool completely.

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

4 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon yeast
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
50 grams melted butter
2 eggs beaten lightly
1 1/2 cups warm milk

1/2 cup icing sugar
Dissolve the milk into the icing sugar. I found it easier to put the icing into a piping bag and just pipe on the crosses, when the buns had cooled completely.

For the chocolately buns, follow the same steps as above.

                                           Just before baking
                                           Just after baking
                                          Brushed with the sugar syrup
                                          With the sugary crosses!


  1. Oh my! These looks delicious, especially the chocolate ones!! I'm loving hot cross buns at the moment :)
    Hannah x

  2. Freshly baked hot cross buns with some decadent French Lescure butter - heaven!!

  3. A double recipe delight, thank you! They look simply divine. I have major cravings now Leah!!! No instant gratification I fear... must make some this weekend! Maybe on Good Friday so they don't spoil ;)
    Heidi xo

  4. I love the chocolate ones. Great recipes you have here. Thanks for sharing.


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