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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns

With Easter just around the corner, it is not compulsary nor obligatory to make Hot Cross Buns, but with the local supermarkets and bakery stocking up on these fragrant aromatic buns, it is quite impossible to not crave for 'em gorgeous buns.

I made a batch of chocolate chip hot cross buns last week and the brother was going all impatient while the buns were still in the oven. As soon as they came out of the oven, he popped straight to the kitchen and asked, "Can I eat one now?"

I had to shoo him back to the living room while I glaze the buns and of course, take some photos. Once I was done, he was already standing by me, poking his nose so closely to the buns. He ate two in one go, and that is after a very heavy dinner, mind you.

Although packs of hot cross buns are fairly affordable, but it is definitely very worth the effort of baking your own! Why?

Because the smell that was emanating from the oven while the buns were baking? Simply ooh-laa-laa! And may I add that these freshly baked buns were so perky, soft and yummy?

Oh yes, and that pleasure of punching down a risen bread dough! BAM - and it deflates - gives me a satisfactory feeling. *laughs*

You should really give it a go, and spend some fun time in the kitchen. The recipe's below:

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns
Recipe adapted from Woman's Day

Ingredients:
(A) Buns
150ml milk, warmed
8g sachet dry yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
50g butter, chopped
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg

(B) Crosses
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons water

(C) Glaze
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Method:
1) Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a 22cm square cake pan.

2) In a medium jug, combine milk, yeast and sugar. Leave in a warm place for 5-10 minutes, until mixture is frothy.

3) Sift flour and cinnamon into a large bowl. Using fingertips, rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir through chocolate chips and sugar.

4) Whisk egg into yeast mixture. Add to flour mixture and mix to soft dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface. Knead 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

5) Place in lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.

6) Punch dough down once with fist to release gas. Knead lightly. Divide dough into 32 equal pieces. Knead each piece until smooth. Shape into rounds. Arrange in pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and stand 20 minutes, in a warm place, until doubled in size.

7) Crosses: in a small bowl, mix flour, cocoa and water to create a smooth paste. Pipe crosses on buns. Bake 12-15 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped.

8) Glaze: in a small saucepan, combine water and sugar. Stir over low heat for 2-3 minutes, until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil, without stirring. Reduce heat and simmer 1-2 minutes, until mixture thickens slightly. Brush over hot buns. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Indulge! ;)

Good luck and happy Easter, all! ;)

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