Easy Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Easy Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

There's nothing more traditional than a hot cross bun for Easter but try these for a simple but tasty makeover.  Perfect for those who don't like spices and dried fruit.  The chocolate pieces and caramel sauce make these a special treat.  

Prep time: I hr + 3 hours proofing

Bake time: 18 mins

Total time: 4 hours, 18 mins

Ingredients:

225g of Risen Mighty White Bread Flour

80g unsalted butter

100g whole milk, warmed

25g caster sugar

2tsp instant dried yeast

2 eggs

20g cocoa powder

100g milk chocolate chunks

1 egg for egg wash

Tin of caramel sauce

10g water

10g sugar

½ tsp of ground cinnamon

Method:

Whisk the yeast into the warmed milk and cover for 10 minutes.

Mix the flour, sugar and 1 tsp of fine sea salt in a large bowl or into a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix briefly. Pour in the warmed milk and eggs, and mix on a medium speed for 10-12 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  If kneading by hand, begin in the bowl and tip out on the work surface and knead for 15 minutes.  The dough will be very sticky but persist.  Use a dough scraper to help you lift the dough off the worktop.

Next, beat together the softened butter and cocoa powder with a wooden spoon until combined. Add to the dough piece by piece with the mixer running, ensuring each addition is completely absorbed before adding the next. Alternatively, if you are not using a machine, do the same.

Keep mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is extremely shiny, soft and stretchy.  By hand, this should take another 5 minutes of hand-kneading. Briefly mix in the chocolate chips, then cover and allow to prove for 1 hour 30 minutes or until doubled in size and puffy.

To shape, tip the dough onto the work surface and divide into 9 equal (roughly 70g) pieces, then roll tightly into balls with your hands. Put the balls into a deep 20cm x 20cm tray lined with baking paper, leaving space between each, cover and leave to prove for another 1 hour 30 minutes. They should be very puffy by the end.

Heat the oven to 195C. Brush the buns with the beaten egg and bake for 16-18 minutes or until risen and shiny. While the buns are baking, make the syrup by heating the sugar and cinnamon stick with water in a small pan. Bring to the boil and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. When the buns come out the oven, brush with the cinnamon syrup and leave to cool.

Once cooled, use a syringe (like you’d find in a Calpol bottle) and draw up the caramel sauce.  Pipe a cross on the top and you’re done!