There’s more than one way to make the best of your time. And perhaps writing about Hot Cross Buns as they (hopefully!) rise in your kitchen may be winning in the multi-tasking stakes at the moment. Not very New Zealand, you may say, but no! These are extra special Kiwi Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Chips.
Now, I’ve always been a fan of the Hot Cross Bun, especially when it’s toasted so that you can add the extra treat of melted butter to the warm, spicy yummyness, but Chocolate Chip HCBs I had not come across before arriving in New Zealand. And now they’re everywhere! I just have to wander into or past a bakery (of which there are many) to see an advertisement for HCBs – plain (as if you could ever call a HCB ‘plain’) or with chocolate chips.
A taste test at Baker’s Delight in Northlands shopping centre while waiting to collect some of their dense Cape Seed rolls (ideal for packed lunches) convinced me that these were indeed a good idea and so I pressed our new breadmaker into service this morning. Not being lazy, you understand, just intrigued to see what it can do. So far it’s doing good. I carefully measured the ingredients into the pan, in sequence as told, just adding a ¼ cup chocolate chips with the sultanas, and set it running.
An hour and a half later, three beeps told me we were ready to rock so I took the dough out of the machine, gently knocked it back and divided it into slightly over the dozen pieces as recommended by the manual. Well, you can’t be following instructions blindly all the time. I put my fourteen buns lovingly on to two trays and set them to rise, which is the stage we’re at now.
This is the first time I’ve ever made a bread-type thing in our rather cold house and I’m not sure how long they’re going to need to rise. The recipe, which says leave for 30 minutes, seems a little optimistic so we’ll see how we go. In the meantime, here’s the recipe. Bear in mind that my breadmaker has a capacity of 1½ lbs and your own breadmaker might even come with a handy recipe that you can use yourself.
For those of you without breadmakers, I often made HCBs by hand in my mother’s kitchen without any problems. If I had the recipe I’d give it here but, alas, I’m far from the advantages of having all my tried and tested cookbooks to hand so you’ll just have to do with my breadmaker one. Oh, and don’t forget, all the measurements in New Zealand are in what seems to me, terribly inconvenient cups. Still, you’ll find no end of conversion tables available on the internet.
Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Chips
Milk – 1¼ cups
Butter – ¼ cup (don’t even ask me how you get butter into a cup! I always judge it by eye, not very professional I know.)
Sugar – 1/3 cup
Egg – 1 large, beaten
Salt – 1 teaspoon
White flour – 3½ cups
Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
Mixed spice – 1 teaspoon
Sultanas – 1 cup, almost filled then top it off with chocolate chips
Dry yeast – 3 teaspoons
Measure ingredients into breadmaker baking pan then insert it securely into unit and close lid. Select the dough setting and push start, adding the sultanas and chocolate chips when the machine beeps.
When the dough is ready, remove from pan and divide into twelve (or so) pieces. Shape into buns and place 2″ apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Mix one slightly beaten egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush on buns. Slash top of bun to form a cross. Bake at 190C/375F for 16-18 minutes. Drizzle cross on buns, while hot, with a little glacé icing. Best eaten hot!