chocolate hot cross buns

I'm not sure what prompted me to make hot cross buns honestly - but I'm glad I did. 

Sometimes I shy away from recipes that require elements of precision or refinement. Hot cross buns are not exactly a refined baked good... but the element of individual little buns and the crosses... and the yeast. It adds up. Then I saw a recipe for chocolate hot cross buns and I was sold. Plus, like many things I've attempted in the kitchen - it was not nearly as complicated or challenging.

Small hiccups? The original recipe was written by someone who does not live in Boston and uses the metric system. While I remembered to convert all the ingredients, I neglected to do so for the actual baking temperature. After 35 minutes in the oven at 200 F with limited progress, I realized I hadn't converted the "200 degrees" from Celsius to Fahrenheit. Idiot. But, if you follow the directions (which aren't complicated) and set the oven correctly, you'll have some beautiful hot cross buns to share.  


Please don't judge the success of this recipe by the poor pictures and terrible white chocolate crosses. I'm bad at melting chocolate and I shouldn't take pictures in a dark kitchen. 

Here's how it goes:

(Step 1) Combine the lukewarm milk, sugar and dry yeast in a small bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes. It should become frothy and increase in size.

(Step 2) Fit your mixer with the dough hook and put the flour and salt in the bowl of your mixer. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the melted butter, lightly beaten egg and frothy yeast mixture, as well as half the chocolate chips.

(Step 3) Turn the mixer on low and knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. My dough needed just a touch more milk. Place it in a large bowl (not metal), cover with plastic wrap and set aside in warm place for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, until the dough doubles in size.

(Step 4) Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.

(Step 5) Once the dough has risen, knock it down and add the remaining chocolate chips, kneading lightly to incorporate them. Divide the dough evenly into 15 or 16 balls and place them close together on the baking tray, in a 4 x 4 or 5 x 3 arrangement.

(Step 6) Preheat the oven to 400 C. Cover the hot cross buns with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 20 minutes.

(Step 7) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. While the buns are baking, prepare your glaze.

(Step 8) For the glaze, dissolve the sugar in the hot water.

(Step 9) Once the buns are cooked, remove them from the oven and quickly brush them with a few coats of the glaze.

(Step 10) Melt chocolate in a smooth texture (via double broiler or microwave method). Then draw the famous "crosses" for your hot cross buns.
For the buns
3 sachets instant dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm buttermilk
4 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups chocolate chunks or chips

For the glaze
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp hot water

For the crosses
1 cup white chocolate chips

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