I think nothing says Easter to me more than Hot Cross Buns (well, maybe Easter Eggs and Bunnies and the like, and the whole religion thing, but anyway- I digress 😉
Traditionally these would have been eaten in Ireland on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday. I actually prefer them them day old and toasted. No accounting for taste. However…. wait for it, the addition of chocolate is VERY good. Completely against the whole off-chocolate-for-lent ethos but sure look it…
Chocolatey Hot Cross Buns
500g Strong White Flour
90g Castor Sugar
10g dried yeast
1/2 teaaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
90g of sultanans
90g of chocolate chips
25g of candied peel
250g of milk
25g caster sugar
Mix everything except the sultanas, candied peel and chocolate chips together in your mixing bowl until just combined. Leave this sit for 10 minutes then mix using your dough hook for 5 minutes until smooth.
At this stage add in the other bun ingredients.
Cover the bowl and let this dough rise in a warm, draft free area until it doubles in size. Dough with “additives” in this case the sultanas, chocolate drops and candied peel, rise slower due to the extra effort required for the yeast to work in rising the dough.
Turn this out onto a lightly floured area when ready to divide the dough into “buns”. Divide it into 16 balls approximately and sit on a floured oven proof tray to start their second rise. I find this works well overnight, in a cool place with just a light teatowel covering them. You want them to slightly merge into each other.
Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, you may need to reduce the temperature for the last 5 minutes. Meanwhile make the sugar syrup, combine the sugar and water in a small pan and boil for three minutes. Leave to cool.
Brush the sugar syrup over the buns to give them a sweet sugary glaze.