Hot Cross Buns are traditionally made on Good Friday, though I often see them nowadays at the supermarket early in the new year. Also breaking with tradition are these Chocolate Jaffa Hot Cross Buns, inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe. I've added orange zest and Lindt Orange Zest dark chocolate to the mix and brushed the tops with orange marmalade.
Best eaten while still warm with a little butter and sea salt.
- Prep Time : 3h 00 min
- Cook Time : 25 minutes
- Yield : 12
- plain flour - 400g bread flour, plus 2 -3 tablespoons extra for kneading
- good quality dark cocoa - 50g
- ground cinnamon - 2 teaspoons
- mixed spice - 1 teaspoon
- ground nutmeg - 1/2 teaspoon
- salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- dry yeast - 7g (1 sachet)
- unsalted butter - 75g
- caster sugar - 75g
- orange - 1 large, zest only
- milk - 200ml
- organic or free range egg - 1 large
- 70%dark chocolate - 150g (I used Lindt Orange Intense), chopped into tiny chips
- sultanas or mixed dried fruit - 1/4 cup (50g)
- flour - 2 - 3 tablespoons
- orange marmalade - 1/3 cup mixed with a little water
- fresh thyme sprigs - optional
Sift together the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and tip in the yeast.
Place the butter, sugar and orange zest in a pan over low heat and warm gently until melted, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat, pour in the milk, add the egg and whisk together with a stick blender.
Gradually pour milk mixture into middle of dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon to slowly bring the flour in to make a rough dough.
Turn out onto a floured board or marble slab. If dough is sticky, knead in some more flour, or if too dry, add a little more warm milk. Knead for ten minutes or until smooth and satiny.
Cover with plastic wrap and a tea-towel and leave to prove (rise) in a warm place for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in bulk (time will depend on how warm it is).
Turn out of the bowl, punch down, roughly stretch and flatten the dough, scatter over the chocolate chips and dried fruit, then knead for a few minutes until smooth again, pushing any chocolate or fruit that escapes back into the dough.
Divide into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a neat roll, making sure the choc chips and sultanas are well incorporated and not poking out from the dough, and place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea-towel, and leave to prove again for 30 minutes or until doubled in size (this may take longer depending on how warm it is).
Preheat oven to 180degC (160deg Fan Forced).
Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with enough water to give you a thick batter consistency, then transfer to a piping bag. Pipe thin crosses across the top of the buns.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a cake rack and whilst warm, brush with the glaze. Warm the marmalade with a little water to loosen, strain through a sieve and brush tops of buns with a pastry brush or thyme sprigs.