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:: Serves 16 ::

All ingredients available from your local Romeo’s.

If you’re a hot cross bun lover, you will LOVE these. If you’re not a hot cross bun lover, you will still LOVE these. The rich Dutch cocoa and big chunks of dark chocolate scattered throughout the dough make these the best hot cross buns ever. They’re good enough to eat all year round!

Storage: Buns are best eaten fresh on the same day, but can be frozen once cooked for up to 3 months.

Ingredients

Dough

2 ½ tsp dried yeast
1 ¾ cup milk, warmed in microwave for 30 seconds
½ cup caster sugar
4 cups bread/pizza flour (Laucke Type ‘00’ Special White flour works great & is available at Romeo’s)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
½ cup Dutch cocoa powder
75g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
200g dark chocolate, chopped into large chunks

White Icing

1/3 cup flour
2 tsp caster sugar
¼ cup water

Sugar Glaze

½ cup caster sugar
¼ cup water

Method

Place yeast, milk, and 1 tbsp. caster sugar in a bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes or until a foamy layer forms on the surface. If it’s a cold day I like to fill a bowl up with boiling water and place at the bottom of an oven. Then place your yeast mixture/dough in the top rack of the oven and shut the door. Do not turn the oven on. Leave the door closed and it will create a warm, steamy and ideal environment for your yeast to prove.

Place the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice and cocoa in a bowl and mix gently with your hands to combine.

Add the yeast mixture, melted butter, egg and remaining caster sugar. Use your hands to bring all the ingredients together.

Tip dough onto floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Place smooth ball of dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel or chux and set aside in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, grease and line 2x 25cm round cake tins with baking paper.

Once your dough has doubled in size, punch the dough in the centre so the air can escape (this is called knocking back).

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in the chocolate, then divide the dough into 16 equal portions. Roll each portion into a smooth, round ball. Place dough balls across the two greased cake tins, leaving a 1cm gap between each ball.

Cover each tin with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for a further 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

For the white icing, mix flour, sugar and ¼ cup water in a small bowl until a smooth paste. Spoon paste into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle or a plastic zip lock bag with a corner snipped.

Pipe crosses onto each of the risen buns.

Bake buns for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and cook for a further 25 minutes until the white icing starts to show glimpses of golden brown.

To make the sugar glaze, place sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes).

Brush warm buns with warm glaze and serve with butter.

Enjoy!

Laura Bakhtiarian

Laura Bakhtiarian

Outrageously creative Food Content Creator, she's the ultimate cook, photo stylist and recipe creator - yum!

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