“Then old Mrs Rabbit took a basket & her umbrella, & went through the wood to the baker’s. She bought a loaf of brown bread & five currant buns.“
— Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Easter isn’t complete without pillowy hot cross buns.
the same way Christmas isn’t the same without spicy gingerbread cookies.
& for Easter this year,
i made choc x buns!
& they look like little fluffy bunnies
(if you squint really hard)!
ok, so i still need to perfect the look,
but this bread tastes divine!
soft, moorish, chocolatey, & with a good touch of spice & sweetness!
an egg-cellent example of something that’s so delicious,
even without looking like a bun(ny)!
For the tangzhong starter
23g, 3 tbsp flour + ½ cup, 113ml water
65ml whole milk
½ cup sugar
57g, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp salt
7g, 1 sachet instant yeast
2 large eggs, well beaten
414.5g unsifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup, 100-150g chocolate chips
For the flour paste
4 tbsp flour
3 tbsp water
For the glaze
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
- Make the tangzhong: Whisk flour & water together until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until thickened but still pourable. When it’s ready, the spoon will leave tracks on the bottom of the pot. Scrape into a bowl & lightly cover the surface with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine milk, sugar, yeast, softened butter, eggs, spices and salt. Stir until butter is melted.
- Mix in flour + tangzhong starter, a little at a time until soft dough forms. Using the dough hook, knead in the mixer until smooth & elastic. Dough will still stick a little to the bowl, but not to your fingers. (If kneading by hand, use a spatula to stir, before turning out onto a well-floured surface & kneading for 8-12 mins.)
- Add chocolate chips & transfer dough to a large buttered bowl, turning it to bring the buttered side-up. Cover with a tea towel & let rise in a warm room for 1½ hours or until doubled in volume.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface & cut in half then continue cutting dough until you have 8-10 equal sized pieces. Roll dough into balls (or bunnies), & transfer to a buttered baking tray. Cover with a tea towel & let sit in a warm spot for ½ hour until puffed.
- Preheat oven to 190˚C/375˚F. Make flour paste by mixing the flour & water together, spoon into a piping bag & pipe white lines on the buns to make crosses (or any shape you want). Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven & let cool over a wire rack.
- Once buns have cooled slightly, dissolve the ½ cup sugar in ½ cup water, in a saucepan. Generously brush the sugar glaze over the buns. Serve warm or at room temperature, with butter & jam.
Yields 8-10 buns
“A sudden gust of wind
From nowhere we begin
It’s like I dreamed you up while I was sleeping
I searched forever through the blue
I spent the hours of my youth
& just when I thought I was through
I found you”
— Kina Grannis & Imaginary Future, I Found You