Traditionalists may scorn at the inclusion of chocolate in this best ever hot cross bun recipe, but we think there is a place for the humble choc-chip. Either way, enjoy them hot from the oven with lashings of butter.
1.Whisk yeast with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and milk in a small bowl until yeast dissolves. Cover; stand in a warm place 10 minutes or until yeast mixture is frothy.
2.Sift flour, spices and salt into a large bowl; rub in butter with your fingertips. Stir in remaining sugar, chocolate chips, yeast mixture, egg and enough of the water to make a soft dough. Cover bowl with oiled plastic wrap; stand in a warm place 1 hour or until mixture has doubled in size.
3.Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide into 20 portions. One at a time, place hand over a portion of dough and, using a circular motion, roll into a ball. Place balls, almost touching, on a large greased oven tray. Stand in a warm place 20 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
4.Preheat oven to 220°C/400°F.
5.Make flour paste by sifting flour, cocoa and sugar into a small bowl; gradually stir in enough of the water to make a smooth, thick paste. Place paste into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tube; pipe crosses onto buns.
6.Bake buns 20 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped.
7.Meanwhile, to make glaze, stir ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, without boiling, until dissolved.
8.Transfer buns to a wire rack; brush hot buns with hot glaze.
To help with proving on a cold day, preheat your oven to 100°C/200°F. Open the oven door and place a chopping board on the door. Place the bowl of yeast mixture in step 1 on the chopping board this will serve as a `warm place’ to activate the yeast. You can also do this to prove the bowl of kneaded dough in step 2. To make a quick piping bag, snip the corner off a resealable plastic bag.