homemade chocolate hot cross buns

IMG_5798
shot by: Joyce Wong (ms_jwong)
oh this recipe makes me feel all kinds of happy. yep. it’s the chocolate. or maybe… it’s the honey glaze… no wait. i think it’s just everything? i love chocolate hot cross buns. i mean, i really love chocolate hot cross buns. the process of making them, is quite simple (even though the recipe looks quite long…), but essentially it’s making chocolate bread with chocolate chips? yum right?
oh god yes.
bread always needs to be proofed, and so do these buns. the key to activating the yeast is to use a thermometer to make sure it’s at the correct temperature. I understand activating yeast makes people nervous, and it makes me anxious too! but it’s okay, not to worry. if it doesn’t froth to activate – then start again. it WILL work somehow! i promise!

so happy easter from mama joyce to you! i hope you find the courage to bake these babies and experience how delicious they are. it’s worth the waiting, measuring and temperature checking… it really is! but if you have any questions about the process, make sure to leave a comment or check my instagram to see the steps i’ve documented.

♦ Chocolate Hot Cross Buns ♦

makes: 9 buns
adapted from the original recipe
DOUGH
• 150ml Milk, warmed (40°C – 43°C degrees)
• 1 tbs Dry Yeast
• 1 tsp Caster Sugar
• 2 cups Plain Flour
• ½ tsp Cinnamon Powder
• 1 tsp Cocoa Powder
• 50g cold butter, chopped
• ¾ cup dark Chocolate Chips
• ¼ cup white chocolate chips
• 2 tbs Caster Sugar
• 1 egg
  1. Microwave the milk for 20 seconds on high – check the temperature with the thermometer until it reaches 40°C – 43°C degrees
  2. Lightly grease a 22cm square cake pan.
  3. In a bowl combine warm milk, yeast and sugar. Leave in a warm place for 5 – 10 minutes, until mixture is frothy!
  4. Sift flour, cinnamon and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Then using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  5. Now add all the chocolate chips and sugar into the flour, and combine all together.
  6. Crack the egg into the yeast and mix well. Then, add this to the flour mixture and mix to form a soft dough!
  7. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic!
  8. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot for up to 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  9. Punch the dough down with your bare hands or fist to release the air! then… knead gently. Admire how beautiful your beautiful baby is! I always feel so proud when i see dough rise so wonderfully!
  10. Weigh the entire ball of dough, and divide this EQUALLY into 9 pieces! Gently knead each piece until smooth (not too much though). Shape them into balls, and arrange them into the square pan.
  11. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside for 20 minutes, in a warm place, or until doubled in size.
CROSSES
• 2 tbs Plain Flour
• 1 tbs Cocoa Powder
• 2 tbs Water
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder and water to create a smooth paste.
  3. Make a small piping bag with baking paper, and carefully spoon the mixture in.
  4. Once the buns have risen for the second time, pipe the crosses onto them.
  5. NOW TIME TO BAKE THESE BABIES for 15 minutes!
GLAZE
• 2 tbs Honey
• 1 tbs Water, warm
  1. The water in this glaze doesn’t have to be at a certain degree – just warm water from the tap will do.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the honey and warm water. Mix until the honey dissolves and you have a liquid glaze.
  3. Once the hot cross buns have baked – remove them from the oven!
  4. While the buns are still hot hot hot – brush them with the honey glaze and… voilà!
  5. They will become all shiny and beautiful, ready to be scoffed down  with a lovely cuppa.
♦  joyce’s tips  
• it’s handy to get a thermometer to warm the milk correctly, because you don’t want it too hot (kill the yeast) or too cold (yeast won’t activate)
• the feedback i’ve received from these buns, is they’re NOT too sweet. so please feel free to add more sugar in the “dough” section.
• sometimes when it’s a cooler day, I cover my dough in towels and set it aside for double the time – up to 2 hours.
• i am a little OCD with my cooking and baking, so I try my best to portion quantities correctly. Weighing out the 9 pieces helps to make uniform buns!
• freshly baked is the best time to eat these babies, but when they get cold they become quite hard. please don’t freak out, just microwave for 10 seconds on high – and it’s fresh again!
• i pair up the buns to chill in freezer bags – and they can stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2 weeks!
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