Dark Chocolate and Candied Orange Hot Cross Buns

I feel like Christmas was only five minutes ago and now Easter is here! Not complaining though because who doesn't love chocolate and toasted hot cross buns?! I think the answer is, NO-ONE!

Freshly baked hot cross buns

And because I love these two things so much, I decided to combine them together so I could have my buns and chocolate in one sitting. I started making these dark chocolate and candied orange hot cross buns a few years back and they are to-die-for. They were a labour of love back in the day when I kneaded them all by hand. I'm obviously a terrible kneader because it would take me AGEEESSSSSSS to get the dough to become smooth and elastic! Now I have a dough hook (which sat in the box unused for months because I thought I was above it ha!) which is a lifesaver. I am actually not sure how people survived without them. Just brilliant. Even better is that they're not expensive, I got my planetary mixer with all the attachments including an ice cream maker bowl from Target about a year ago for about $200. It's pretty great although I still yearn after a pastel-coloured KitchenAid with a glass bowl..

Nothing better than butter on warm buns
Plenty for the family and the Easter bunny!

Anyway I digress! I hope you guys love these buns (who doesn't love a good set of buns hehe) as much as I do and the best bit is that you can make them all year round without judgement. Thanks to the absence of sultanas and currants, they can be referred to as 'breakfast buns' after Easter..or at least that's what I do! #bunsforever

Dark chocolate and candied orange hot cross buns

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Dark Chocolate and Candied Orange Hot Cross Buns
A modern take on an Easter classic
Ingredients
  • 4 cups spelt flour
  • 1 cup candied orange peel or mixed peel
  • 1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup rapadura sugar
  • 16g dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 60g butter
Instructions
Warm milk in microwave for 40 seconds. Warm enough so you can still comfortably touch itPlace warm milk, yeast, and sugar in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutesIn the meantime, place flour, spices and salt into the mixing bowl, combine wellAdd the butter and rub in with your finger tips. This part doesn't have to be perfect, just to break it up a bitAdd eggs, and yeast mixture and mix with the dough hook for about 10 minutesThe dough should be smooth and elastic now. Add the orange peel and chocolate and mix again for 2 minutes still using the dough hookPlace dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm area for an hour or until dough has doubled in sizeAfter this time, punch the dough down, knead just for a minute to smooth it out and portion the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll the dough portions and place them on a baking paper lined tray a centimetre apart from each otherCover with a tea towel, place in a warm spot again and let the buns rise for 15 minutesWhile this is happening, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Then if you'd like to put crosses on your buns and glaze them, mix 1/3 cup plain flour with 60ml water and place into a piping bag (save this for the crosses) and mix 1 tbs marmalade or apricot jam with 1 tbs water for the glaze. Cross your buns then bake them for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for a further 15 minutes. Remove from oven, brush with jam mixture and cool
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 buns