Hot Cross Buns
Now lets see how to make hot cross buns; first up, place the flour, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Mix together until well combined and make a well in the centre.
Pour half the warmed milk, Vanilla Paste, melted butter and beaten egg (reserving 1 tbsp of egg mixture for the glaze) into the well and begin to mix into the dry ingredients. – this can be done by hand or in a freestanding mixer with the dough hook attachment.
Add the cranberries and Chocolate Chunks, gradually pour in the remaining milk, stirring whilst you are pouring in the milk. Continue to stir until a sticky, moist dough is formed.
Begin to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. If using a freestanding mixer this should take about 5 minutes or 10 minutes by hand. – try not to add extra flour, the more you knead the dough the less sticky it will become.
Once you have a smooth elastic dough, place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size, this usually takes about 2 hours.
Once the dough has doubled in size, push the dough with your knuckles to deflate it and place on a lightly floured surface. Leave to rest for 5 minutes and line a large rectangular baking tray with baking paper.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Form the dough portions into balls and place on the prepared baking tray spaced slightly apart. Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C /160°C/ Gas Mark 4 about 10 minutes before baking. Brush the egg glaze onto the top of each bun. Bake the hot cross buns for 20 minutes until golden brown and when you tap to base of a bun it sounds hollow.
Allow the hot cross buns to cool for about 15 minutes. Melt the white chocolate and place in a piping bag. Cut a small hole in the end of the piping bag. Pipe a line of chocolate along each row of hot cross buns, then repeat in the other direction to create a cross on the top of each bun. Your hot cross buns are now ready to serve and enjoy!