There’s nothing better than a warm hot cross bun at Easter.
There’s nothing better than a warm hot cross bun at Easter. BAKE CLASS MURDOCH BOOKS

Recipe: Add some fun to traditional hot cross buns

IN THIS updated version of the traditional Easter hot cross bun, chunks of dark chocolate and tart dried cherries make these even more irresistible.

Dried cherry and chocolate hot cross buns

INGREDIENTS:  

  •  750g bread or pizza flour  
  •  55g caster (superfine) sugar  
  •  14g dried yeast  
  •  1 1/2 tsp mixed spice  
  •  1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon  
  •  1 tsp salt  
  •  150g dried cherries  
  •  75g currants  
  •  435ml milk  
  •  60g butter, cubed, plus extra, to grease and serve  
  •  2 eggs, at room temperature  
  •  1 tsp natural vanilla extract or essence  
  •  100g chopped good-quality dark chocolate.

Flour paste -  

  •  75g plain (all-purpose) flour  
  •  75ml water.

Glaze -  

  •  55g caster (superfine) sugar  
  •  2 tbs water.

METHOD: Put the bread flour, sugar, yeast, mixed spice, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. Stir through the dried cherries and currants.

Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter has just melted and the milk is lukewarm. Whisk one of the eggs with the vanilla and add to the milk mixture. Whisk to combine. Add to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix to a soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured bench top. Knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Lightly grease a clean, large bowl with a little butter, add the dough and turn to coat the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Punch the centre of the dough down with your fist. Turn onto a lightly floured bench top. Knead for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Knead in the chocolate. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and place on the tray, allowing room for spreading. Cover with a damp tea towel (dish towel) and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced. Meanwhile, make the flour paste. Combine the flour and water in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Spoon into a small plastic bag.

Whisk the remaining egg and brush the tops of the buns with it.

Snip a small hole in the corner of the plastic bag containing the flour paste and pipe crosses on the buns.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the buns are cooked and sound hollow when tapped on the base.

Meanwhile, make the glaze.

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and simmer for 1 minute.

Transfer the hot cross buns to a wire rack and brush the tops with the glaze. Serve warm, spread with butter.


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