Was that the first song you learned on your musical instrument? Unless you’re a natural Bach or Beethoven, then it probably was. Now that the song’s stuck in your head, let’s talk about these sweet little pillows of heaven.
Hot Cross Buns are often baked and eaten on Good Friday with the white cross marked on top symbolizing the crucifixion. They also have quite a bit of superstition associated with them. Some say that if they are baked on Good Friday, they will keep fresh for the entire year. Others claim an exchange of the buns are responsible for blossoming friendships (hmmmm…I did give most of my batch to my neighbor). While another superstition states the buns are medicinally charged, mending any ailing folks who eat them. These are just few among others.What do these buns mean to me? Simply, a great breakfast! Traditionally, hot cross buns are made with currants or raisins, but I love this idea for a chocolate version. The rolls are brushed with a simple sugary syrup and topped with a white chocolate cross. You won’t believe how soft and wonderful they are!
Yes, I might be reminded of my early piano and saxophone days when “Hot Cross Buns” was the only tune I knew how to play. But, right now, all I can think about is how I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow morning and eat the leftovers with a big hot cup of coffee.
- 2 Tablespoons instant yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons hot water
- 2 ounces white chocolate (block or chips)
Combine the yeast, sugar and milk in a small bowl; set aside. After 10-15 minutes, the mixture should swell.
Whisk the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the melted butter, egg and yeast mixture, along with 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Mix together until a dough forms, then knead on low speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth an elastic. Add a little more flour, if needed.
Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough, then add the remaining chocolate chips, kneading lightly to incorporate them. Divide the dough evenly into 16 balls and place them close together in a parchment lined or greased baking pan.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover the hot cross buns with a clean kitchen towl and set aside to rise for 20 minutes.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze.
Dissolve the sugar in the hot water. Once the buns are done baking, remove from the oven and immediately coat them with the glaze, using a pastry brush. Let cool in a pan on a wire rack.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Transfer to a small zipper bag or piping bag, snip off the end and pipe crosses across the tops of the buns.
Source: Adapted from Butter Baking