Enjoy them while you still can!!
After this weekend, the long run of hot cross bun availability (which seems to start closer to Christmas every year!) comes to an abrupt halt.
So, harness this wonderful opportunity to create your own little warm buns of yumminess before it’s too late!
The original recipe from I Quit Sugar is undoubtedly delicious but I was inspired to add a few more ingredients to really spice it up and make these buns a lovely autumnal treat.
Set aside a few hours and you can enjoy these all Easter weekend (maybe bake a double batch so you still have a few to enjoy when you go back to work…)
Spiced Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns
1 tbsp dried yeast
2 tsp rice malt syrup
4 3/4 cups white spelt flour
1 1/4 cup lukewarm full-fat milk (make sure it’s not hot otherwise it will kill the yeast)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp stevia granules
60 g butter, softened
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
zest of 1 orange (save a teaspoon of zest for the glaze if you like)
1 egg, lightly beaten
50-100g dark chocolate, chopped finely (I used 80% Lindt Dark Chocolate)
For the glaze:
2-3 tsp rice malt syrup
1 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp orange zest
Add the yeast, 1 tbsp spelt flour, all of the warm milk and rice malt syrup into a mixing bowl and mix well. Cover bowl and allow to stand in a warm place for 15 minutes until mixture is frothy.
Meanwhile, sift 4 cups of spelt flour, salt, stevia, spices and zest into a large bowl and toss to combine. Add in the butter and rub into flour mixture with your fingers until combined.
Once the yeast mixture is frothy, add into the flour mix with the whisked egg. Stir to combine and add in the chocolate pieces then fold through. Cover the bowl again and allow to stand in a warm place for 40 minutes or until dough has almost doubled in size (I pop mine next to the back of the fridge or in the cupboard next to the dishwasher – both are nice cosy spots for dough to rise!)
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and lightly grease a 18cm x 30cm baking tin (or something of similar proportions with a bit of depth so the buns have something to rise against)
Gently punch the dough down, turn onto a floured surface and knead well until it is smooth and elastic. Cut into 3 equal pieces then cut each piece into 5. Softly knead each piece into a ball.
Place the buns into the prepared tin in rows, spaced evenly. Cover and again allow to stand for 10-15 minutes in your chosen warm place so the buns can expand a little more.
To make the crosses, sift 1/2 cup of spelt flour into a bowl and add 1/4 cup of water then mix to form a paste. You want a thick but fluid consistency so add a little more water if required. Spoon mixture into a small ziplock bag (or piping bag if you want to be fancy!) and then cut a hole across the corner. Pipe crosses onto the top of each bun (TIP: the buns will probably have expanded by now that they are touching, so just run the piping mixture along the whole length of each row of buns, across and down. Perfect crosses on every one!)
Place buns into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until nice and golden on top. You’ll know they’re ready when you tap on the tops and they make a hollow sound.
Combine the rice malt syrup with boiling water and brush over the buns as soon as you remove them from the oven.
These are best enjoyed straight from the oven, piping hot with lots of butter but if eating 15 buns in one sitting is too much, let them cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to a week or in the freezer.