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Get baking this easter!

Try these delicious spiced chocolate and orange hot cross buns...

Hot Cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday with lashings of butter….however why not spice things up a little with these spiced chocolate and orange hot cross buns. We are sure they will be a hit for all the family, this Easter!

Here’s a list of what you will need:

    • 475g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
    • 25g good-quality cocoa powder
    • 1 tbp ground mixed spice
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 85g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
    • 100g golden caster sugar, plus 50g extra to glaze
    • 2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
    • 1 large free-range egg
    • 190ml lukewarm milk
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
    • 75g raisins (optional)
    • 75g milk chocolate, chopped
    • Finely grated zest and juice of
    • 1 orange
    • 75g chopped candied peel



Step one: Sift 400g of the flour, the cocoa powder, mixed spice and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and, with your fingertips, rub together until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir through the sugar and dried yeast, then form a well in the centre. Whisk the egg and milk together and pour into the well. Quickly mix with a wooden spoon to incorporate.

Step two: Knead on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes until soft and silky. Shape into a ball. Put in a large, lightly oiled bowl, covered with cling film. Leave for 1½ hours in a warm place, loosely covered with greased cling film, until doubled in size.

Step Three: Remove the risen dough to a lightly floured surface, flatten slightly, then knead in the raisins (optional), chocolate, zest and candied peel, until everything is evenly distributed.

Step Four: Divide into 12 equal pieces (about 100g each) and shape into smooth-surfaced buns. Place in rows on a lightly oiled baking tray, leaving a little gap between each. Cover loosely with lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour or  until doubled in size again. The buns should now be touching each other. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6.

Step Five: With a serrated knife, score the tops of the buns with a cross. Mix the remaining 75g flour with 1 tbsp oil and 5 tbsp cold water to a smooth paste, then spoon into a piping bag (or a small, clear, sturdy plastic bag with the corner snipped off).

Step Six: Carefully pipe the mixture in lines along the knife scores on the buns, going first one way, then the other, using a knife to stop the flow. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.

Step Seven: Meanwhile, put the remaining sugar into a pan with the orange juice. Put over a low heat until it has dissolved. Bring to the boil and bubble for 2 minutes until thickened.

Step Eight: Remove the buns from the oven and turn out onto a rack. Glaze with the syrup and serve warm or cold.

Enjoy!

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