Baking is one of my favorite pastimes. I enjoy baking cookies, cakes, breads, pies, muffins, cupcakes, and much more.
December Is the Perfect Month for Baking
I love baking, and December seems like the perfect time to bake cakes, bread, buns, and much more.
The other day, I baked chocolate hot cross buns. I was inspired by an episode of The Great British Baking Show on Netflix (my favorite show) in which the contestants were making hot cross buns. They look so good! That's when I knew hot cross buns would be my next baking challenge.
What Is a Cross Bun?
A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins, marked with a cross on top. Originally created in the United Kingdom, the style and texture of hot cross bun is similar to that of raisin buns. Initially, I had wanted to add raisins, but I decided to substitute chocolate chips because I wanted to try something a bit less traditional.
One of the best things about baking is that when the dough starts rising, that's when you know the yeast is active and perfect for the proofing process. To make bread or buns, you must begin by preparing a yeast mixture. I would recommend using active dry yeast because it worked tremendously well for me. However, you are welcome to use instant yeast, instead. The difference is that active yeast needs to be dissolved in lukewarm water or milk, whereas instant yeast can be mixed straight into the dough. Both are useful for making bread or buns.
Let's see the full ingredients.
Prep Time: 1-2 hours (including resting and proofing time)
Total Time: 2-3 hours
Makes: 12-15 buns
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For the yeast mixture:
- 1 cup warm whole milk
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For the dough:
- 3 1/2 cup bread flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (add more if you want the strong flavor)
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature and lightly beaten
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the glaze:
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoon melted butter
For the crosses:
- Chocolate fudge
- Chocolate caramel
- In a mixing bowl, combine the warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Let the mixture dissolve and set aside for 5 minutes.
- In another small bowl, lightly beat the egg and egg yolk. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, salt, ground cinnamon, allspice, sugar, eggs, and butter. Using a lower speed, start mixing the ingredients. Increase the speed and mix until the dough comes together. If the dough is sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time.
- Transfer the mixture onto a baking mat to shape the dough into a ball.
- Transfer the dough into a greased bowl. Let it sit in a warm place for an hour.
- Transfer the dough onto a baking mat and combine the chocolate chips. Continue kneading until all combined.
- Divide the dough into equal-sized balls.
- Lay a parchment paper on a baking tray.
- Transfer the balls onto a tray, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rest for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 18 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- Allow buns to cool slightly before making the crosses.
- For the crosses: I used a ready-made chocolate caramel. If you want to make some, just melt the chocolate chips with butter, transfer into a piping bag or a ziplock bag, and start making the crosses on top of the buns.
- For the glaze: Melt the butter in the microwave for 15 seconds and add honey to combine.
- Brush the honey glaze on top of the buns.
- The chocolate hot cross buns are ready to eat!
© 2018 Liza