When I started thinking about the recipe the first thing that crossed my mind was this beautiful and unforgettable post about hot cross buns (just as all the others on the same blog) followed by a recipe, and my decision was made even before I had a chance to think any further.
I started with regular hot cross buns (as “one learns from the scratch” is my motto) but the family was quite indifferent to them so I changed the recipe over to chocolate chip hot cross buns. I have to adjust the recipe to our needs and include the chocolate almost every time, and this time was no exception. —Jasmina Gajic
Melt the butter in a pot with the milk on a very low heat. Leave aside to cool or to speed the process place it in the fridge until it is cooled to room temperature. If the milk is too hot it’ll kill the yeast, if it’s too cold it’ll slow down the rising of the dough so room temperature is the best option.
Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, cinnamon and ginger powder using a stand mixer.
Whisk the egg lightly, add zest of one lemon and pour into the cooled milk and butter mixture.
Fold wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients and start the mixer using kneed option. Work on the dough for 3 minutes, add chocolate bits and continue for another 3 minutes. I find this new stand mixer technique so easy and rewording that I am becoming a huge fan of the stand mixer era.
Cover the bowl with clear wrap and leave the dough to rise for just over an hour or until is doubled.
In the mean time make the flour paste for crosses by mixing all the ingredients, adding water only if needed. The paste needs to be thick but workable.
To make the syrup – place sugar, water, lemon and cinnamon on a low heat and cook until sugar dissolves and water becomes syrupy and golden in colour, at the same time being careful not to burn it.
Divide dough into 12 equal size pieces and arrange them onto a baking tray. Make the crosses using a piping bag and leave them to rise for another 25-30 minutes or until they double in size again.
Bake for 15-20 minutes on 200C or until golden brown.
Brush the buns with syrup (which is cooled down by now) after you take them out of the oven, sprinkle little raw sugar on them and leave them just a few minutes to cool down before your first bite!