EASTER SPECIAL – Hot cross buns with chocolate and cranberries

Hot cross buns with chocolate and cranberries
Hot cross buns with chocolate and cranberries

Last year when I made hot cross buns, I really had no idea what I was doing.

I was in the middle of learning about cookies/biscuits and about to move on to mousses so yeast was unknown and somewhat scary.

While I still haven’t officially started breads yet, I have had a bit more experience with different yeasted doughs like brioche, sticky buns and Gibassier as part of my non-laminated viennoiserie.

Last time I flavoured my buns with pear and dark chocolate, but this time opted for dried cranberries.

I’m never going to enjoy candied peel, but you can easily adapt this recipe and swap in or out any of the flavourings.

This recipe is pretty similar to the one I used last time from Paul Hollywood, but with a few changes.

It’s inspired by from a recipe I saw from Jocelyn Hancock who runs the Brisbane baking institution Jocelyn’s Provisions. She uses dried apricots, raisins and sultanas in hers.

I especially enjoyed the spiced sugar syrup glaze which provided extra flavour and a lovely shine.

Hot cross buns
550g strong bakers’ flour
10g dried yeast
100ml milk
65g caster sugar
9g salt
60g soft butter
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp ground allspice
1 egg
260ml warm water
200g dark chocolate, chopped
200g dried cranberries
Glaze
60g caster sugar
2 cardamom pods, whole
1 clove
Cross paste
125g plain flour
50ml water

Warm the milk in the microwave until warm but not boiling, then add a tablespoon of sugar and the dried yeast. Set aside for a minute.

In a stand-up mixer, cream the butter with the remaining sugar until light and then add the egg. Pour in the yeasted milk mixture.

Add the flour, spices and then with the dough hook on mix on the lowest setting you have. Gently pour in the water until fully combined – this will take around 6-7 minutes.

Sprinkle in the fruit and chocolate, then mix for a further minute or until fully incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands for 4-5 minutes or until firm and springy. You can test this by pressing down on the dough with your finger and seeing if it bounces back.

If the dough is too sticky, gradually add tablespoons or flour until you get the right consistency.

Place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Set it aside in a warm area for around 1 hour or until it has doubles in size.

Turn it out onto a floured surface, and use a knife to cut it into 16 equal portions.

Shape with your hands and then set out on an oiled baking tray – leave around 1cm between each bun.

Cover and set aside again for the final prove which should take around 20 minutes.

Mix together the flour and water, then use a piping bag to pipe the cross on each bun.

Bake at 200C for approximately 25-35 minutes.

Make the glaze by placing the sugar and spices in a saucepan and just covering with water, then bringing to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse.

Turn the buns out onto a wire rack, then brush with glaze when cooled

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2 thoughts on “EASTER SPECIAL – Hot cross buns with chocolate and cranberries

  1. They look delicious. I made chocolate and cranberry hot cross buns but they weren’t really hot cross buns – yours sound much more like the real thing because you have all the spices in there too. I could make an exception from the traditional ones for yours!

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