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Chocolate & Spice Hot Cross Buns

Prep Time:

40 mins plus rising and proving

Cook Time:

20/25 Minutes


About the Recipe


For the dough and crosses

·         Zest and juice of 1 large orange

·         Sunflower oil for greasing

·         225ml/8fl oz semi-skimmed milk

·         50g/2oz unsalted butter plus extra for greasing

·         1 large egg

·         450g/1lb strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting

·         2 tsp fast-action yeast

·         50g/2oz golden caster sugar

For the flavouring and glaze

·         140g/5oz raisins

·         100g/4oz dark chocolate (73%) buttons

·         1tsp ground cinnamon

·         4 tbsp golden caster sugar

100g/4oz plain flour


·         Heat the milk in a pan until steaming. Remove from the heat and add the butter.

·         After a couple of mins beat in the egg and half the orange zest

·         Mix the strong flour, yeast, 1tsp salt and sugar in a bowl then tip in the “just warm” liquid and stir to make a soft dough with no dry patches

·         Flour the work surface and knead the dough for 5 mins until smooth and elastic

·         Oil a large bowl, sit the dough inside it and cover with oiled cling film

·         Rise in a warm place until doubled in size

·         Put the raisins and half the orange juice in a small pan and simmer for a few minutes before allowing to cool completely

·         Put the chocolate, cinnamon and 2 tbsp sugar into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Mix in the rest of the orange zest.

·         Turn out the risen dough onto a floured surface and press it out to approx. A4 size

·         Scatter the dough with the chocolate mix and soaked (and drained) raisins and fold into a ball, knead well for a few minutes to incorporate the ingredients

·         Grease and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment

·         Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape each bun into a purse shape with a smooth surface at the bottom

·         Place the buns smooth-side up onto the baking sheet leaving room for rising

·         Cover loosely with oiled cling film and prove in a warm place for 30-45 mins or until dough has risen and doesn’t spring back quickly when prodded gently

·         Heat the oven to 190C /170 fan

·         To make the paste for the crosses, gradually stir 6-7 tbsp water into the plain flour to make a smooth, thick paste and put into a food bag. Snip off the corner to about 5mm

·         Pipe the crosses onto the buns and bake for approx. 20-25 mins until the buns are golden brown

·         Mix the rest of the orange juice with the remaining sugar and let it dissolve. Brush the syrup over the buns whilst still hot then leave to cool

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