Easter Hot Cross Buns!

Sunday 27 March 2016

Photograph of my home-made hot cross buns
Yummy Hot Cross Buns!
Happy Easter Sunday everyone! I hope your day is full of chocolate eggs and roast dinners, and lots and lots of family time. In celebration of this time of year I decided to bake something that I have not only never made, but have rarely eaten. I think in my entire lifetime I have probably eaten one or two Hot Cross Buns, such a shame right? So to redeem myself a little bit I decided to make not one, but two types of Hot Cross Buns. Chocolate Orange, and just plain old original. so read on if you want to know how to make them...
Photograph of my home-made Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Bun
Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Bun

These chocolate orange hot cross buns are an interesting alternative to the original style buns, with chocolate chips and dried apricot instead of sultanas. They are an interesting dark colour and are definitely chocolatey, whilst at the same time still tasting like the original buns. I got the recipe for these from a baking magazine of mine, and I'm so glad I found it.

For this recipe you will need:

For the Buns:

  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 25g Unsalted Butter
  • 7g Sachet of Fast Action Dried Yeast
  • 40g Caster Sugar
  • 15g Cocoa Powder
  • 55g Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 55g Dried Apricots Finely Chopped
  • Finely Grated Zest of 1 Orange
  • 1 tsp of Mixed Spice
  • 150ml of Milk
For the Crosses:
  • 25g Unsalted Butter
  • 55g Plain Flour
For the Glaze:
  • Apricot Jam
To make the Chocolate Hot Cross Buns You will want to start by sieving your flour, cocoa powder and salt into a mixing bowl, add the butter to this and rub with your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the milk to a pan and bring to a boil, removing from the heat as soon as it starts to bubble, leave it to cool until it is warm but not burning hot. Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and pour the milk in, mix this with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together, then use your hands to gently knead it in the bowl. Once it comes together you can tip it out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth. Place this in an lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove for one hour.

Once the dough has proved for an hour add the chocolate chips and chopped apricot and knead it into the dough. Break the dough into 8 equal sized pieces and shape into rolls, placing onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Cover with lightly oiled cling film again and leave to prove again for 45 minutes. Whilst the buns are proving you can preheat your oven to Gas mark 7/210 degrees. To make the crosses on the buns you will need to mix the butter, flour and 4 tbsp water until its a paste. Place the flour paste into a piping bag and then pipe the cross shapes onto the buns. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. The final step is to heat some apricot jam until runny and then brush over the buns, leave them to cool completely, and then your buns are done!

Photograph of my home-made Original Recipe Hot Cross Buns
Paul Hollywood Hot Cross Buns!
This recipe was written by one of the Great British Baking gods, Paul Hollywood. You can find the recipe here. I knew that to celebrate this Easter season I just had to make some original hot cross buns, and who better to get the recipe from than Paul Hollywood. These are so fruity and delicious, perfect toasted with a little bit of butter.

For this recipe you will need:

For the Buns:

  • 300ml Full Fat Milk
  • 50g Butter
  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 7g Sachet of Fast Action Dried Yeast
  • 1 Egg
  • 75g Sultana's
  • 50g Mixed Peel
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 1 Apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon 
For the Crosses:
  • 75g Plain Flour
For the Glaze:
  • Apricot Jam
To make the Paul Hollywood Hot Cross Buns you will want to start by bringing the milk to the boil in a pan, as soon as it starts to bubble remove it from the heat and add the butter, stirring until completely melted, leave it to one side. Put the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast into a bowl, making sure that the salt and yeast are on opposite sides of the bowl. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the milk mixture into it. Use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients together, when they start to come together tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for roughly five minutes until the dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film leaving to prove for an hour.

Whilst the dough is proving you can weigh out your sultana's, mixed peel, and cinnamon, adding the orange zest and your chopped apple. Once the dough has proved throw the weighed out ingredients into the bowl with the dough and knead them in until they are completely combined. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover, and leave to prove for another hour. The dough should double in size during this time. After the second prove you will want to shape your dough into rolls, you should be able to make 14 equal rolls. I spread these over two baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper, covering with oiled cling film, and putting them aside for their final one hour proving.

Towards the end of the prove time you can preheat your oven to Gas Mark 7/220 degrees. Once proved you will need to make the flour paste for the crosses, this is as simple as mixing the flour with roughly 5 tbsp's of water, but add them one by one to make sure the paste does not become too runny. Place it into a piping bag and carefully pipe the cross shapes onto the buns. Bake the buns for 20 minutes in the middle of your oven until golden brown. Whilst these are baking heat up some apricot jam until it is runny, as soon as your buns come out of the oven brush them with the apricot jam and leave to completely cool.

So there you have it, two completely different kinds of hot cross buns to help you celebrate your Easter Holiday. Don't forget to eat yourselves sick and have lots of fun!
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