These Easter treats are a breeze to make at home, they require very little effort once you have the main ingredients. Some of these may be difficult to find, but persevere and you will be rewarded with better buns than you can find at any bakery.
- 500g Bread Flour
- 315ml Water
- 5g Salt
- 6g Bread Improver (Ascorbic Acid)
- 70g Caster Sugar
- 30g Compressed (fresh) Yeast
- 15g Milk Powder
- 50g Vegetable Shortening
- 25g Cocoa Powder
- 8g Ground Cinnamon
- 250g Choc Drops (or chopped chocolate)
- 5g Cocoa Powder
- 70g Bread Flour
- 75g Water
- 2tsp Golden Syrup
- 1/4 Cup Warm Water
Step 1: Add the ingredients from Group 1 in the following order
Salt, Improver, Flour, Yeast, Milk Powder, Sugar, Vegetable Shortening, Water
Step 2: Mix with a dough hook on a low medium speed (3 on a Kitchenaid) for about 10 minutes to combine all the Group 1 ingredients and develop the gluten. The mixture will be a "wet" dough and slightly sticky.
Step 3: Add the Group 2 ingredients (cocoa and cinnamon) and mix on a low speed for a further 2 minutes until fully combined.
Step 4: Add the Group 3 ingredients (choc drops) and mix on a low speed until incorporated into the dough. You can finish this step by hand just prior to scaling the dough.
Step 5: Scale the dough to 80g pieces, you should be able to obtain 16 buns from this scale. Then let the dough relax for 15 minutes prior to rolling the buns.
Step 6: After the dough has rested, roll the balls using the small roll method from "Tips and Tricks" then give them a slight squash down and place them on baking trays with parchment so that the edges are just not quite touching, about 2mm between each one. Now, leave them in a warm humid place for an hour to proof.
Step 7: Mix the Crosses ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon until well combined.
Step 8: After the buns have been proofing for an hour, turn your oven onto 180C (fan forced) and allow it to warm up.
Step 9: While waiting for the oven to warm up, use a piping bag with a small nozzle (2-3mm) and pipe the crosses onto the buns. Then once the oven is up to temperature, place them into the oven. Allow them to bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the baking trays with 10 minutes to go for an even finish.
Step 10: Prepare the glaze by mixing the glaze ingredients.
Step 11: Once the baking time is up, remove the buns from the oven and place them on a wire cooling rack. While the buns are still hot, brush them with the glaze until well coated. Allow the buns to cool before eating (if you can).
Enjoy the buns warmed up in the microwave with a thick smear of unsalted butter on them, or just chow down as you please. The vegetable shortening gives them a few days in a sealed container without going stale.
These are ideal used in another recipe, the "Hot Cross Bread and Butter Pudding" an absolutely decadent treat, and definately not one I would suggest for those watching their waist.