I love Easter.  Chocolate,  holidays, (usually) good weather…what’s not to love? We’re heading to my parents farm for a few days, which we do most years.  There’s usually a crowd, whether it’s just my brother and his family and my sister, or a few added aunts/uncles/cousins.  It makes for a fun few days.  The difference this year is that mum and my sister are currently overseas.  Mum turns 70 soon, and as a present, my sister has taken her on a trip for 10 days (nice, huh!).   But the down side is, that without mum, there is no hot cross buns.

I’m one of those people who will not buy/eat a hot cross bun until Good Friday.  So by the time I hit the farm on Good Friday I am more than ready to inhale a few of mum’s home made hot cross buns (preferably slathered with her home made blackberry jam).  By the end of the weekend I’ve had so many, that I’m quite happy to wait another 12 months before my next hit.  Sheesh…looks like if I want to eat hot cross buns this weekend, I’ll have to make my own.

The recipe I used was from taste.com.au.  I used this recipe for the standard buns, and this recipe for the chocolate ones.

First up, ingredients went into the bowl and were mixed through.

2014-04-16 14.51.04

I got the kids in on the kneading action.

2014-04-16 15.02.45

2014-04-16 15.04.07

Then the dough was left to double in size.

2014-04-16 15.14.58

I’d left making these a little late in the day, so my standard practice of putting the dough in the car to rise wasn’t going to work.  I have a dough option on my oven, so I used that instead.    The car trick is great for dough proving.  Just park the car in the sun, put your bowl with the dough inside and then leave it until it has doubled in size.

After an hour or so, the dough got punched down and then divided up into 12 portions.  I use mum’s tip of weighing each portion of dough to ensure the buns all come out roughly the same size.

2014-04-16 17.15.52

Then a little knead, and put into the baking tray and back in the oven/car to prove.

2014-04-16 17.23.26

Once they’ve risen again, the crosses are piped on and then it’s back into a hot oven for 20 minutes.

2014-04-16 18.36.39

2014-04-16 18.36.44

When they come out of the oven, mix some sugar and water to make a syrup and brush over the buns for that glossy look.

2014-04-16 19.01.30

2014-04-16 19.25.41

I’m pretty happy with how my first ever hot cross buns came out!

Would I change anything?  Not with the traditional ones.  With the chocolate ones, next time I’d substitute the cup of sultanas for a cup of choc chips.  I also forgot to add the piece of chocolate on the inside of each chocolate bun, which would’ve given them a molten centre.  It would’ve been good, but I think by substituting in the choc chips, it really wouldn’t need the chocolate centre anyway.

Are you getting ready for Easter?  Done some baking or crafting?  Emma over at Frog Goose and Bear has been doing some pretty terrific Easter craft activities…I love the finger print bunny mug!

Will be back soon with some Easter biscuits.  The dough is currently resting in the fridge ready to be rolled out.  They’re one of my favourite biscuits, so I can’t wait to share them with you!

See you soon!