March 27, 2013

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns

We're coming up to Easter, which means school holidays for us here in Victoria and for me that means two weeks of holidays which I'm really looking forward to. I've been invited to go away with my sister and her family, camping on the Murray River so I may have a chance to catch up on my sleep and reading while I'm there. Another thing that I've been wanting to do before Easter arrived is to make some home made hot cross buns. 
I made these hot cross buns that I found on Not Quite Nigella a couple of years ago for Easter and fell in love. The addition of cinnamon to the buns and the chocolate chips makes for a really nice alternative to the usual sultana or choc chip hot cross buns. I said this the last time I made them but I still think they taste a lot like cinnamon buns, especially with the sweet sticky top and white chocolate crosses. 
Unfortunately my go to shop for American foods didn't have much of a range of choc chips when I last looked so no Hershey's Cinnamon chips for me. I ended up having to make my own which was really easy. It was just a matter of melting some white chocolate, adding cinnamon, setting it in the fridge and then chopping it up into small pieces.
In a separate bowl I mixed together the yeast, sugar and warm milk and let it stand for 15 minutes until it looked like this. It's hard to see but the top became frothy after it was left to stand.
In the bowl of a mixer I added the flour and salt and made a well in the centre to which I added the above yeast mixture, butter, egg, cinnamon and a third of my cinnamon chocolate chips and mixed it all together. After kneading I let the dough sit in a bowl covered with a tea towel for 1.5 hours. 
As you can see I still need to work on shaping the buns correctly lol! 
After letting the dough rise, I kneaded the dough a little bit more and added the rest of the choc chips. Then I divided the dough into balls (well sort of) and placed them on a tray and covered them up again to let them rise further. Then into the oven for half an hour to bake.
After taking the buns out of the oven (by which time they smelt delicious!) I brushed over a sugar, water and gelatine mixture and then finished off by adding a white chocolate cross to the top of each bun.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns
Ingredients for the buns
2 tbsp instant yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
4 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
50g butter melted
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cups Cinnamon chocolate chips (or 2 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips melted with 2 tsp of cinnamon, allowed to set and then chopped up)
For the glaze
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup hot water
1 tsp gelatine
For the crosses
75g white chocolate
1. In a small bowl mix together the yeast, sugar and warm milk. Set aside for 15 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.
2. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl, or the bowl of your electric mixer. Make a well in the centre and mix in the yeast mixture, melted butter, lightly beaten egg, cinnamon and one third of the cinnamon chocolate chips. 
3. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until elastic and place in a large greased bowl covered with cling wrap in a warm area. Leave for 1 1/2 hours until dough is doubled in size.
4. Using your fist, punch down the dough and add the remaining cinnamon chocolate chips. Knead lightly and divide into small balls. Place close together on a lined baking tray. Cover with cling wrap and allow to rise again in a warm place for 20 minutes.
5. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). 
6. Bake hot cross buns for 20-30 minutes until done. While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze - mix together the sugar, hot water and gelatine.
7. Once the buns are ready, brush the tops (and sides if you wish) with the glaze mixture.
8. Melt the white chocolate and spoon into a piping bag, or a zip lock bag with a small hole cut in the corner. Pipe two lines across the buns to make the crosses. Best served while still warm. 
Recipe Source
Not Quite Nigella's recipe for 

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