Sweet and sticky mini hot cross buns! Soft and fluffy and filled with chocolate chunks, sweet spices and dried mixed fruit. The recipe for these delightful chocolate chip hot cross buns is super easy and it takes just 10 minutes to mix together the dough and theres no need for a dough hook or bread machine!
Place the milk and butter in a small pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Set to one side to cool.
In a small jug whisk together the 2 large eggs and set to one side.
Next, in large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, mixed spice, nutmeg and ginger (dry ingredients).
Make a well in the centre of the mixed dry ingredients. Pour in the eggs and a quarter of the milk mixture. Stir well. Gradually add the rest of the milk stirring between each addition to bring together into a dough.
Turn the dough out onto a clean floured work surface. Knead for 5 minutes until it starts to feel smooth and less sticky. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover. Leave the bowl to stand in a warm place (e.g. - on top of a pre heated oven) for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
After the dough has risen, uncover and turn out on a floured work surface. Flatten out the dough roughly with your fingertips. Grab the dough on either side with both hands and stretch out into a long strip. Add the currants, peel and chocolate to the centre of the strip of dough. Fold all the sides in and then roll up the dough into a sausage shape from one side to the other. This should allow for the fruit and chocolate to be fully combined into the dough.
The dough can now be divided up into small dough balls. There is enough dough to make 32 small buns. I divided mine into 26 small buns for the tear and share and then made 4 separate larger buns.
Lay out the dough balls into your tear and share design on a large baking tray. If you would like to serve with a small dipping dish in the middle place this into the centre now to measure a large enough gap. Also leave a small gap in-between each ball to leave room for further rising. Cover with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave for another hour to rise.
To make the cross
Meanwhile mix together 100g flour with 8 tablespoon of milk to form a smooth paste. Transfer to a piping bag ready to pipe on the crosses.
Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees C. After an hour, remove the tea towel from the dough balls. Mix together the egg and ½ tablespoon milk to make the egg wash. Use a pastry brush to glaze the dough balls with the egg wash.
Next pipe the crosses onto the buns, try to pipe in one line over multiple buns where possible, just to make it easier. With my circular design I piped around in one circle and then across in a star shape.
Place the buns in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
To make the sticky apricot glaze.
5 minutes before the buns come out of the oven, melt the apricot jam in a small pan. As soon as the buns are removed from the oven paint over the heated apricot jam and then leave to cool.
To make the chocolate dip
Once the hot cross bun tear and share is fully cooled, place the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and heat in 30 second bursts until melted. Mix the melted white and milk chocolate and serve with the tear and share.
Flour: Strong bread flour (or just bread flour if you are in the US) contains a higher amount of protein, which will allow for more air to be trapped when the dough rises and bakes. Therefore, producing a light, soft and fluffy hot cross bun.Fast action or instant yeast: One sachet of this will ensure a good rise. Make sure you use a yeast that states it can be added straight to the recipe or flour. I find fast action yeast super easy to work with as it doesn't need to be activated first and it always works well when making any kind of bread.Fresh yeast could also be used here but double the amount would be needed. Fresh yeast will need to be activated in the milk first rather than adding to the flour mixture. If you choose this option you will need to melt the butter and milk in a pan then allow to cool to a luke warm temperature. Then dissolve the fresh yeast in the warm milk and allow to sit for a couple of minutes before mixing into the flour. Read more about different types of yeast and how to use them here.Caster sugar: The caster sugar (or bakers sugar) is added to the dough to make the bread sweet. Although other types of sugar could be used here, I find caster sugar to be the best as it dissolves quickly and produces a nice even flavour throughout the bread. Either white or brown caster sugar can be used.How should mini hot cross buns be stored? Once made, allow to fully cool then wrap in cling film and stored in an air tight container. The buns will keep well and stay soft for 2-3 days, after this you may find that the rolls start to harden and go stale.Can this recipe be made in advance? Make the recipe as per the instructions up to when the bun dough is rolled into 32 balls. At this point cover with cling film and place in the fridge. The dough balls can now stay in the fridge overnight as the low temperature will mean a slow rise. In the morning remove from the fridge and leave on the side for an hour to warm up. Arrange on a tray then glaze with egg wash and pipe on the crosses before baking in the oven as per the recipe.Can this recipe be reheated? As these are HOT cross buns, it is nice to actually eat them whilst still warm. Once cooled you can reheat by wrapping the rolls in foil then place in a hot oven and warm gently for 5 minutes.Can you freeze mini hot cross buns? Once baked and fully cooled, place the buns in an airtight container or sealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Its easier to freeze the buns loose rather than in the tear and share shape. When ready to eat remove from the freezer and either heat each bun for 1-2 minutes in the microwave or leave on the side to fully defrost then wrap in foil and pop in the oven to warm for 5 minutes.