Oh, and there's Easter egg trees too. Yes... Easter trees. Um, seriously? Have you ever heard of such a thing?
*ahem* I will exercise self control and will not discuss this matter further. However all that I will say is that Easter trees are odd. Very seriously odd.
One thing I do love about Easter, is the Hot Cross Buns (and the Easter eggs and chocolates, of course). I am secretly glad that they become available for sale right after Christmas. More hot cross bun goodness for me to enjoy.
I've tried my hand at different variations of hot cross buns over the past couple of years. I've made traditional hot cross buns with raisins, and a double chocolate version. Both proved to be very yummy.
This year I wanted to try something different: chocolate chip hot cross buns. One type of hot cross buns that we often purchase are the chocolate chip type and they're laden with Cadbury chocolate and are rich, sweet and very extremely chocolatey. I wasn't expecting homemade to come anything close to that, but I was wrong.
These hot cross buns are just like the ones we purchase: they're laden with chocolate are super duper soft and thanks to the spices, they taste just like a 'normal' hot cross bun should. As with any homemade recipe, you're also omitting all the nasty stuff like preservatives and additives the store-bought types contain.
Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns
Makes 24 small buns or 12 extra large ones
1 ½ cups warm milk
16g instant yeast
pinch of salt
1/3 cup castor sugar, divided
5 cups plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
60g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup dark choc bits
1/3 cup water
60g dark choc bits, melted
Combine milk, yeast, salt and a pinch of sugar in a jug. Whisk with a fork to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 5-10 minutes or until top becomes frothy.
Sift 4 cups of the flour and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add 2 tbsp of sugar and the yeast mixture, butter and egg. Stir with a large spoon until dough almost comes together. Add up to one cup more of flour, depending on consistency of dough. Using clean hands, mix to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10mins or until dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 1-1.5hrs or until dough doubles in size.
Line two 25x30cm baking pans with baking paper. Use your first to punch down dough to original size and add the chocolate bits. Knead until well combined. Divide dough into 24 equal portions and shape each portion into a ball. Place into the pan, about 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30mins or until buns double in size.
Preheat oven to 200C. Bane for 18-22mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Heat water and remaining 2 tbsp of sugar in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 mins. Brush warm glaze over warm buns. Spoon melted chocolate into a snaplock bag and snip one corner off bag. Pipe chocolate crosses over buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Other Easter recipes on my blog...