Chunks of dark chocolate and tart dried cherries take these hot cross buns to a new level. Try this delicious recipe extract from Bakeclass by Anneka Manning.
Dried Cherry and Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
Preparation time: 25 minutes (+ 1½ hours proving time)
Baking time: 25 minutes
750g bread or pizza flour
55g caster (superfine) sugar
14g dried instant yeast
1 tsp mixed spice
1tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
150g dried cherries (see Baker's tips)
60g butter, cubed, plus extra, to grease and serve
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp natural vanilla extract or essence
100g chopped good-quality dark chocolate
75g plain (all-purpose) flour
55g caster (superfine) sugar
2 Tbsp water
Put the bread flour, sugar, yeast, mixed spice, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. Stir through the dried cherries and currants.
Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter has just melted and the milk is lukewarm. Whisk one of the eggs with the vanilla and add to the milk mixture. Whisk to combine. Add to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon then your hands to mix to a soft dough.
Turn on to a lightly floured bench top. Knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Lightly grease a clean large bowl with a little butter, add the dough and turn to coat the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for one hour or until doubled in size.
Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Punch the centre of the dough with your fist. Turn on to a lightly floured bench top. Knead for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Knead in the chocolate. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and place on the tray, allowing room for spreading. Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced. To make the flour paste, combine the flour and water in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Spoon into a small plastic bag.
Whisk the remaining egg and brush the tops of the buns. Snip a small hole in the corner of the plastic bag containing the flour paste and pipe crosses on the buns.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the buns are cooked and sound hollow when tapped on the base.
To make the glaze, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and simmer for one minute. Transfer the hot cross buns to a wire rack and brush the tops with the glaze. Serve warm, spread with butter.
• Dried cherries are available at selected supermarkets, delicatessens, and specialty stores.
• You can replace cherries with dried cranberries.
• To freeze for up to three months, wrap in plastic wrap and seal in an airtight container. Thaw at room temperature.
Extracted with permission from Bakeclass by Anneka Manning, published by Murdoch Books, $49.99, available now.