Easter is one of my favourite times of the year. Spring is in the air and chocolate is in my stomach! I love the pastel colours, the cute little chicks everywhere and of course the yummy food. Easter really is a sweet tooth’s paradise! Easter eggs are of course a given, but then there are hot cross buns, simnel cake, creme egg brownies., mini eggs, the list goes on and on.
Making hot cross buns may seem like a bit too much effort, especially when there are so many different ones available to buy! But I truly find them one of the most therapeutic things to bake. Watching them rise gives you a beautiful sense of achievement and satisfaction. The smell that will fill your house as they bake is better than any candle you could buy. And, of course, the taste of a freshly baked, super soft, homemade hot cross bun, just can’t be beaten!
500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet fast action yeast
70g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 beaten egg
1 tsp ground cardamon
100g dark chocolate chips
60g plain flour- for the cross
2 tbsp apricot jam- for the glaze
Heat your milk in a saucepan with the vanilla, until it just comes to the boil, then add the butter to melt.
Pop the flour, ground cardamon, yeast, sugar, salt in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the middle and add a beaten egg, and the slightly cooled milk.
Bring the mixture together, then either knead by hand or if your feeling lazy, like I usually am, let a free standing mixer do the work for you. You want to work the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
Pop your dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and allow to prove, for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Pour your chocolate chips over the dough, and knead through until they are well distributed. Recover with clingfilm and allow to prove for another hour.
Now it is time to shape your buns, I got 12 buns out of my mix, of roughly 75g each. If you split the dough roughly in half, then half again etc. Weighing each piece will just allow to create equally shaped buns! Roll each section of dough in your hand to create a ball then place on a lined baking tray, leaving enough room for the buns to rise. Cover again with clingfilm and leave for there final hour prove.
Preheat your oven to 220/200 degrees fan.
Mix the plain flour with enough water to form a thick paste, adding a little at a time. Pop into a piping bag and snip of the tip. Once your buns have proved pipe a cross on the top of each one and then pop your ray in the oven.
The buns should take around 20 minutes to bake, until they are beautifully golden brown.
Once out the oven, brush the apricot glaze over each one. Leave to cool or enjoy fresh out the oven!