Choc & Sultana Hot Cross Buns

Bittersweet chocolate, sultanas & cinnamon are a wonderful combination in these hot cross buns. The following recipe makes a dozen.

 

Ingredients

450 g The Real Bread Mix ~

2 tsp Yeast

1 1/2 tsp Salt

40 g Brown sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

20 g Cocoa

50 g Butter/oil

200 g Dark chocolate chips*

100 g Sultanas

520 g Water

 I use Callebaut 53.8% cocoa solids callets - If you don't like dark chocolate substitute with milk chocolate.

The Real Bread Mix is produced by Springhill Farm. For a slightly softer hot cross bun use 350 g of The Real Bread Mix & 100 g of maize starch.

 

Stripe

25 g The Real Bread Mix

10 g Brown sugar

1/2 tsp Cocoa

50 g Water

 

Sugar glaze

20 g Sugar

20 g Water (near boiling)

 

Method

Warm water is ~1/4 to 1/3 of boiling water with the remaining cold water (tap). Whether you use 1/4 or 1/3 will depend on how cold your tap water is. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast.

Pre-incubate the yeast at room temperature for approximately 5 - 8 mins in 100 g of warm water containing 10 g of the sugar. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar & disperse the yeast. This gives the yeast a readily available food source & they can "revive" in a relatively undisturbed environment. After the allocated time the surface of the yeast mixture should be slightly frothy. This indicates the yeast are viable. 

If the yeast mixture has a frothy top or you can see bubbles proceed with bread making.

Are you going to proof the dough in your oven or in another warm spot? If proofing in your oven turn oven to ~50 C for approximately 10 mins then turn it off again.

Lightly oil a roasting dish or a similar sized pan,  I use a cast iron roasting dish (32 x 24 cm). A lamington pan 30 x 20.5 cm also works well. 

Thermomix

Set aside the dark chocolate chips & sultanas.

Place all other ingredients in the TM bowl (including pre-incubated yeast). Remember you need to add 420 g of water as you will be adding the other 100 g with the pre-incubated yeast.

Mix for 2.5 mins at speed 4. 

Ensure all ingredients are incorporated. If not, scrape down the sides and briefly mix again.

Add in chocolate & sultanas & mix for 30 sec on speed reverse + 2.

Allow the dough to sit undisturbed in the TM bowl for approximately 5 mins before proceeding. This gives the dough time to thicken slightly & therefore easier to make the individual buns. 

Stand Mixer

Set aside the dark chocolate chips & sultanas.

Place all other ingredients into the mixing bowl (including pre-incubated yeast). Remember you need to add 420 g of water as you will be adding the other 100 g with the pre-incubated yeast.

Combine ingredients using the flat beater until a uniform consistency is achieved. You may need to stop the mixer and scrap down the sides. This make take longer than 5 mins.

Add in chocolate & sultanas & briefly mix in.  

Both Methods

The dough is ready for proofing. 

Lightly oil a work surface (I usually put down non-stick paper), a knife & your hands. Transfer the dough to the paper, it will be slightly sticky & divide it into quarters with the oiled knife. Take one quarter & divide it into 3 ~equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball & transfer to the roasting dish. Repeat with the 2 other portions. Take the next quarter & repeat the portioning & shaping. 

Let the dough proof for approximately 45 mins in a warm moist environment. Turn your oven on to 200 C.

If you are proofing in your oven put on the timer for ~20 mins. When the time is up take the proofing bread out of the oven and turn the oven up to 200 C. The 20 mins is an estimate it will depend on how long it takes your oven to reach 200 C.

Before putting it in the oven put the stripe across the tops of the buns. Using a stab blender or by hand mix the ingredients for the stripe. Transfer to a plastic bag (or piping bag) & cut a tiny edge off one of the corners. Use the plastic bag to pipe a stripe lengthways across the tops of the buns & then repeat the other way to form the crosses. 

Bake at 200 C for ~30 mins, the time will vary depending on the individual oven. If your oven has a hot spot turn the bread halfway through baking. 

Take out of the oven & cool the buns on a cooling rack (take them out of the roasting dish), leaving them intact in their 4 x 3 shape. The buns should slide out of the baking tin. If it doesn't don't force it out, wait until it cools.

While you are waiting for the buns to cool down (a little) make the sugar glaze. Dissolve the sugar in boiling water, using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the buns. 

I waited a little while before eating one...... or two.