The following is an excerpt from his book, Say It With Cake.
For me, hot cross buns shout out “Easter!”: the smell, the taste and the nostalgia of them. And while I do love the classic, my little twist makes them even more delicious by adding some dark chocolate to the dough. If you prefer the classic and want to omit the chocolate, increase the raisins to ¾ cup and add 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
Say It with Cake by Edd Kimber © 2013 Kyle Books, and the photographs © Georgia Glynn Smith
- 3¼ cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- ¼ cup superfine sugar
- ¼ ounce instant yeast
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup whole milk, lukewarm
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ½ cup raisins
- 2½ ounces dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
- Oil, for greasing
- ⅓ cup white bread flour
- 2 tbsp honey, warmed
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift the flour, salt, mixed spice and sugar into a large bowl and add the yeast and orange zest. In a small bowl, mix the egg, milk and melted butter together until combined, then pour into the flour mixture. Using a rounded knife or your hands, mix together to make a soft dough.
- Lightly flour the work surface and transfer the dough onto it. Knead the dough for 5 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Flatten the dough, then sprinkle over the raisins and chocolate. Fold over the dough to seal the chocolate and raisins inside, then knead for 2 minutes to evenly distribute them. Form into a ball, put into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Put in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Transfer the dough to the floured work surface and lightly knead to knock out some of the air. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and form into balls. Put the balls onto the baking sheet about 2 in. apart. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 40 minutes, or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- To make the cross, put the flour and ¼ cup water in a bowl and mix to form a thick paste. Spoon the paste into a piping bag and pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until risen and golden. While still warm, brush the buns with the warmed corn syrup.