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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns



We've managed to resist the temptation to eat Hot Cross Buns till now. Well, Easter is almost here !
But where do Hot Cross Buns come from? I found an answer in this year's Anglican Easter magazine.
While some historians date the tradition of baking Hot Cross Buns to the 12th century the earliest record may well be 1361 when an Anglican Monk called Father Thomas Radcliffe was recorded to have made small spiced cakes stamped with the sign of the cross ( a symbol to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus) They were distributed to the poor  who visited the monastery at St Alban's on Good Friday.
They were so popular that he made them again every year from then on. But he wouldn't share his bun recipe and kept it close to his chest for many years.
Oh well ,there are dozens to choose from now. But none so tempting right now as this chocolate version by culinary stalwarts Dame Alison and Simon Holst .I have dusted off my bread maker to bake them.
They themselves like traditional, fruit and spice flavoured hot cross buns, but for some reason Simon’s children have gone off them, and now prefer this chocolate version.

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns




Makes 16 hot cross buns:

3 tsp instant active yeast
½ cup milk
¾ cup hot water
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp salt
50g butter, melted
1 large egg
½ cup cocoa powder
4 cups (560g) high-grade flour
½ cup chocolate chips

Bread Machine Instructions
1     Measure all the ingredients into a 750g capacity bread machine in the order specified by the manufacturer. Set to the DOUGH cycle and start. (Add the chocolate chips at the beep if your machine offers this option). When the cycle is complete, shape and bake as below.
To Shape and Bake
2     Divide the dough evenly into four pieces, then again into four quarters so you have 16 pieces in total. Shape each one into a round ball and arrange in non-stick sprayed (and/or baking paper-lined) baking pans or in a rectangular roasting dish, leaving about 1cm between each bun. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
3     If you want to add pastry crosses, bake the buns first and decorate when cooled with crosses made with vanilla or chocolate icing or melted white or dark chocolate.


4. Bake at 200 degrees C for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Glaze immediately with a syrup made by bringing to the boil 1 tablespoon each of golden syrup, honey and water.


This recipe was reprinted with permission from Everyday Easy Bread Machine recipes. By Simon and Alison Holst. Published by Hyndman Publishing. RRP $ 14.95





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