Easter is such a lovely time of the year. It heralds the start of better weather, the gardens are starting to pop with colour and who can resist those adorable Easter bunnies!
Easter is a great food celebration and to mark the Easter week I decided to make much-loved hot cross buns. Traditionally hot cross buns are filled with fruit and spice but I’m not a lover of dried fruits in cakes so I’ve made them with a little Small City Recipes twist and replaced the currants with chocolate chips! (naughty but very, very nice!).
These buns are so delicious when they’re just out the oven and still warm. Spread them with a little butter and enjoy with a nice cup of tea. Easter perfection!
1. In a bowl, combine the milk, caster sugar, and yeast, cover and leave aside for 10 minutes.
2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour the melted butter, beaten egg, half the chocolate chips and yeast mixture into the well and stir until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. This can also be done in a mixer with a dough hook if you have one. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover and leave for 1 hour to allow the dough to rise to double the size.
3. Line a square baking tray with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 200C.
4. Once your dough has risen, punch it down and turn onto the lightly floured surface again. Add in the remaining chocolate chips and knead to incorporate them all into the mix. Split the dough into 16 pieces and roll into balls and place them closely together in the baking tray so you have an arrangement of 4x4.
5. Cover the tray and set aside for 20 minutes until the buns have risen slightly.
6. Next pop into the oven for 25 minutes and while waiting make the glaze. To make the glaze dissolve the remaining 50g sugar in the hot water in a bowl.
7. Once the buns are golden, remove from the oven and whilst still in the tin brush quickly with a few coats of the glaze.
8. Leave to cool and melt the white chocolate in the microwave, stirring at short intervals. Put the melted chocolate into a small piping bag (or a plastic food bag like I used) and snip off the corner and pipe crosses across the buns.
9. Ideally serve warm.
Hot Cross Buns always take me off on a glorious trip down memory lane and to Easter's spent sitting at my Nana's kitchen table colouring in hard boiled eggs with felt tip pens while munching on the sweet, gently spiced buns, toasted to perfection and spread thick with butter and strawberry jam.
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