Easter is a special time for a lot of people. Whether you appreciate its holy nature, love chocolate, or simply enjoy the freedom of back-to-back bank holidays, there’s something to suit everyone. For me, Easter is about lazy mornings, double doses of coffee and some good company – the chocolate goes without saying.
As I suspect the Easter bunny won’t be visiting my house this year, I’ve taken matters into my own hands. Given my personal tastes fall somewhere between a childish love of egg-shaped chocolates and being a real-life adult, who enjoys sophisticated spiced buns, I’ve dug up a recipe that ticks all boxes. Chocolate hot cross buns are perfect for easter Sunday breakfast, and any time in between.
This recipe is a little tougher than I usually do, but the results are spectacular. And, as always, make sure you have a Pact coffee ready for the when the oven timer makes it’s heavenly strains!
For the buns:
400g strong white flour
7g sachet fast-action yeast
50g caster sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
1tsp ground cinnamon
250ml warm milk
1 medium egg
50g butter (plus extra for greasing)
150g chocolate chips (I used a mix of dark and milk)
50g plain flour
For the glaze:
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp boiling water
1. Put flour, yeast, sugar, chocolate and salt in a mixing bowl and stir. Make a well in the centre.
2. Pour milk, butter and egg into the well and mix using a wooden spoon until a stretchy mixture is formed.
3. Dust a clean surface with flour and knead dough for five to ten minutes until springy.
4. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and place in a warm place to allow the dough to rise. Leave for about an hour, or until the mixture has doubled in size.
5. While you wait, heat oven to 180°C/gas mark 6.
6. Tip onto a lightly dusted surface and divide into even portions – dividing the mixture into thirds and thirds again will make nine, decent-sized pieces. Roll the pieces into buns and arrange on a lightly greased tray leaving room for them to rise further.
7. Mix plain flour with one tsp of sugar and 4-5 tbsp water to make a paste. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and mark the buns with a cross.
8. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes (or until golden brown).
9. To prepare the glaze, melt sugar in boiling water.
10. Transfer baked buns to a cooling rack and brush the glaze.