chocolate chip hot cross buns

prep 4 hrs       cook 25 mins      makes 16 buns


500 g (5 cups) bread flour

4 tbsp milk powder

75 g (1/2 cup) fine sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 - 2 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed cake spice

3 tsp yeast

300 ml (1 1/2 cups) water

2 tsp vanilla extract

75 g (1/2 cup) soft butter

200 g (1 1/3 cup) mini dark chocolate chips

1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash

Paste for Crosses

75 g (3/4 cup) plain flour (or bread flour if it's all you have)

4 - 5 tbsp water

11/2 tsp sugar

Sugar Glaze

50 g (1/3 cup) fine sugar

50 ml (1/4 cup) water

Combine flour, milk powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and stir with whisk until well mixed. Stir in yeast.

Pour in water and mix to a shaggy dough. Cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Knead in butter a third at a time, until well combined. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Remove from bowl and shape into a neat ball. Grease inside of bowl and return dough to bowl.

Cover and leave to rise until dough is slightly more than doubled in volume. This should take about 1 hour.

Gently knead chocolate chips into dough and form into a neat ball. Place on a lightly greased surface, cover and rest for 15 minutes. Divide dough into 16 and form each into a tight neat ball. Place seam side down on a lined baking sheet.

Cover lightly with a clean cloth or plastic sheet and leave to rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled in volume. While buns rise, preheat oven at 200 C (400 F). When buns are ready for oven, brush each gently with the egg wash.

Combine paste ingredients (for crosses) until smooth and transfer to a piping bag. Pipe a cross on each bun. Bake buns for about 20 minutes or until well risen and golden. If they darken too quickly, lower temperature to 190 C (375 F).

Remove from oven when done and transfer to a cooling rack with a sheet of baking paper or tray beneath to catch the glaze drips. Combine sugar and water for glaze in a small pot and bring to a boil. When sugar melts, keep boiling until it thickens to a light coating consistency. Turn off heat and allow glaze to cool slightly.

Brush top of each bun generously with warm glaze, including crosses and leave to set before serving.