Chocolate Hot Cross Buns are so flavourful and easy to make and so soft and rich because of all the butter, dry fruits, milk and orange zest.
You might remember the nursery rhymes about Hot Cross Buns!
Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters, Give them to your sons
One ha’ penny, Two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns!
If you do basic bread baking, then it is so easy to make these Hot Cross Buns. The major flavour for the buns come from orange zest and rum soaked dry fruits. I have used dry fruits as it is because I didn’t have the soaked fruits. If you have rum or whiskey or orange juice, you can briefly soak the fruits, drain them and use in recipe. I have also added some cocoa powder to give chocolate flavour to the buns.
Chocolate Hot Cross Buns – Ingredients
Flour – I have used strong bread flour which is why the buns are so high and fluffy. You can also use same quantity of all purpose flour/ maida instead of bread flour. If using whole wheat, add 10 gm of vital wheat gluten to get the perfect texture.
Cocoa Powder – Cocoa powder adds the required chocolate flavour in the recipe. You can either use Dutch processed or raw cocoa powder. The flavour difference won’t be much. But Dutch processed cocoa might give you darker colour to the buns.
Sugar – I have used white sugar in this recipe. You can also swap it for cane sugar, brown sugar or jaggery powder.
Instant Yeast – I use Weismill instant yeast in all my bread recipes. They come in smaller jars and are easy to finish before expiry date. If using dry yeast, you need to prove the yeast first before adding it to the flour.
Butter – This is not a vegan recipe, so I have used butter. If you want to make a vegan version, you can swap the butter with a vegan butter or coconut oil instead.
Milk – I have used dairy milk for this recipe, but if you would like a vegan version, then use any plant based milk instead.
Dry Fruits – I have used a combination of cranberries and golden raisins. I also added a little bit of candied orange zest in the mix. It is completely up to you when making your own. If you don’t want the fruits, you can just omit it.
Icing – I haven’t added the icing on top of the buns, but you can definitely add it if you prefer. Mix together icing sugar and a few drops of milk or water to make thick paste. Take it in a piping bag and pie a cross on top of the cool buns. The icing will set in ten or fifteen minutes and will give you a good crunch.
Spices – I have used dried ginger and cinnamon. You can also use all spice, nutmeg and mace.
Kneading the Dough
You can knead the bread dough by stand mixer or by hand. If using a stand mixer, knead the dough for 8 minutes and if kneading by hand, knead it for 10 minutes. The development of gluten is so important in getting the perfect crumb. And it takes a bit of kneading to strengthen the dough. So do not skip the kneading part.
Chocolate Hot Cross Buns – First Proving the dough
The first proving is an important stage in bread baking. The time taken for the dough to double in volume usually depends on the climate. If the climate is hot, the dough usually proves in 45 minutes. But if cold, it might even take two hours to double. So always shape only when the dough is doubled in volume.
Adding the Dry fruits
You need to add the dry fruits only after the first proving. Dry fruits that are large in size would hinder with gluten development. So it is better to add them after the first proving, when the dough is strong enough to hold them. If soaking the fruits in alcohol or orange juice, make sure to drain it well, pat them in tissue before adding to the dough. Just knead it briefly to incorporate them in the dough.
The Second Prove
Usually second proving take very little time when you compare it with the first proving. You also shouldn’t allow it to double in volume. Just 1.5 times the volume would be perfect. The buns also will rise in the oven. If the buns are over proved during the second prove, they will collapse in the oven and loose their fluffy crumb.
Preheat the oven for 10-15 minutes before placing the buns in the oven. This will ensure even baking and good oven rise.
Immediately brush the buns with butter to give them a nice shine. Just hold a block of cold butter with a knife or fork to apply it on the buns. Or you can melt the butter and use a brush to brush it on the buns. Check out the crumb texture of the buns. It is just amazing.
Serve it warm. It tastes wonderful. You can also choose to toast the buns and serve them with butter and jam. I love to eat them without any kind of additives or spreads to enjoy the flavour.
I made the regular hot cross buns along with these chocolate buns. IF interested in the recipe, please click on the image below.
Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
For the Buns
- 200 g Bread Flour/ Maida
- 25 g Cocoa Powder
- 50 g Sugar
- 1/8 tsp Dry Ginger Powder
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Instant Yeast
- 1 tbs Orange Zest
- 150 ml Milk
- 30 g Butter
- 75 g Mixed Dry Fruits
For The Cross
- 1 tbs Maida
- 2 tbs – Water
- Mix together flour, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and instant yeast in a stand mixer bowl.
- Add butter and milk and heat until butter melts. Allow it to cool down.
- Add the butter and milk mix to the dry ingredients and make shaggy dough.
- Knead the dough for ten minutes, if kneading by hand or eight minutes if kneading by mixer.
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with a cling film.
- Allow it to double in volume. It may take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours depending on the climate.
- Degas the dough, add the dry fruits mix and knead the dough until the fruits get mixed well in the dough.
- Divide the dough into 9 equal portions.
- Roll them into tight balls.
- Line a 7” square tin with parchment and arrange all the balls in the tin.
- Or divide into 8 equal portions and arrange them in a bake and serve paper liners.
- Cover and let it become 1.5 times the volume.
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Mix together flour and water to make a smooth batter and transfer to a piping bag.
- Brush the top of the buns with milk and pipe out cross on top of the buns using the maida mix.
- Bake the buns for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Remove from oven and apply butter on top of the buns immediately.
- Allow the buns to cool.
- Serve it toasted with butter and jam.