Cardamom & Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

DSC_0482 DSC_0486Being an amateur baker/cook/blogger/food maker means that mostly all the recipes I share can be improved in one way or another. Sometimes it’s merely a case of adding a little something here and taking a little something away there. Other times the whole thing needs to be scrapped.¬†

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This week I’m using a recipe I posted last Easter and making it a bit more jazzy! In my original post I went on about my love for Hot Cross Buns. Let me reiterate. My favourite thing about Easter is not the chocolate, it’s the buns which are hot and have crosses.
Weirdly enough, this year, the only hotty c’s I’ve eaten are the ones I’ve made! As I write this post I’m planning on how I can squeeze a trip to M&S into my day to get some of their apple and cinnamon bunz.
So it seems spring is upon us. I like spring. I think it may be my favourite season. It means summer is coming soon, there’s tulips and blossoms about and generally everything is so fresh and pretty.

Hotty C'sTulips are my absolute favourite. I’ve mentioned this before in my Facebook page (speaking of which, go give it a like) but I’m still waiting for a bunch to be bought for me.
What am I saying, I’m a strong independent woman, I buy myself my own flowers!
Making these buns I realised I need to work on my baking skills. Working with yeast isn’t easy and I don’t practice enough. I was told the batch I made came out a little dense so I knead to work on, well, my kneading! If anyone can recommend any good baking courses, leave me a comment below ūüôā

DSC_0500 DSC_0502Do you reckon savoury hot cross buns could be a thing? I’ve thought about it and I think it might work. But I guess I would have to leave out the citrus peel then and I really love citrus peel. Hmmm…
Let’s see what happens next Easter shall we!

Recipe

This recipe is adapted from my adaption of Paul Hollywood’s recipe, which can be found in How to Bake. To any of you budding bakers, this is a book I highly recommend!
Serves: Makes 12 buns
Prep time: 30 mins
Rising/Resting Time: 3-4hrs
Cooking time: 20 mins
Skill Level: Need to be able to deal with dough

Equipment
Large mixing bowl x2
Tea towel
Knife/dough cutter
Large oven tray or 2 x small (lined with baking parchment)
Plastic bag
Piping bag + fine nozzle
Pastry brush

Ingredients
500g Strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
10g salt
75g caster sugar
10g instant yeast
40g unsalted butter (softened)
2 eggs (beaten)
120 ml milk (warm)
120ml water (cool)
80g chopped mixed peel
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1 dessert apple (peeled, cored and chopped)
2tsp cinnamon 
1tsp ground cardamom
100g chocolate chunks/chips (I used dark choco and milk choco)

For the crosses:
75g plain flour
75ml water 

To glaze:
75g apricot jam

Method

  1. Put the flour in mixing bowl. To one side, add salt and sugar. To the other side, add yeast. (if using dry active yeast, be sure to reactivate before use!)
  2. Add butter, milk, eggs and half the water. Mix round with your hands until all the flour has been picked up from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add a remaining water a little at a time to form a soft dough. Use mix to clean sides of bowl. (You do not want the dough to be soggy, so you may not need to add all the water, just enough to bring all the flour together).
  4. Tip dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10mins. Dough should form a soft, smooth skin and should feel smooth and silky.
  5. Put dough in a lightly oiled  mixing bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for at least 1hr until dough has doubled in size.  (You can weigh out the rest of the ingredients and chop the apple whilst the dough rises)
  6. Tip dough on to a lightly floured surface and scatter orange peel, zest, apple, cinnamon, cardamom and chocolate on top.
  7. Knead dough until the fruits are evenly spread. Return to oiled mixing bowl and leave to rise for 1hr.
  8. Remove from bowl and fold dough inwards (to remove air).
  9. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll into balls.
  10. Place dough balls fairly close together on a lined baking tray or two.
  11. Place tray in clean plastic bag and leave to rest for 1hr until dough has doubled in size. (At this point I put the tray in the fridge as I wanted to bake them in the morning. I removed from the fridge 30min before adding crosses and baking)
  12. Preheat oven to 220c/200c fan/Gas 7 whilst buns are rising.
  13. Mix together plain flour and water to form a thick paste. Transfer into clean piping bag with a fine nozzle attached.
  14. Pipe crosses onto buns.
  15. Bake in oven for 20mins until golden brown.
  16. Warm jam with a splash of water and brush over buns to glaze.
  17. Leave buns to cool on wire rack.

HOTTY C’S

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This week I’ve been listening to a lot of Tycho

KBx

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