I had a list of things we wanted,
Soft bread dough but firm enough to be a Hot cross bun
Fruit wasn't exactly loved here so we wanted a different flavour there, decided on dark chocolate and stem ginger
needed to find out what made that slight crust on top of the buns
and importantly a cross that was a cross and not pastry laid on top and cooked.
So first thing first I looked in my books and decided to base first attempt from the fabulous baker brothers recipe. This made 16 and we didn't need that many so I halved and played around a bit. Me being me made one mistake and instead of halving the egg used a whole one, little extra flour sorted me out though. So I started with.
340g strong white flour (plus handful if using whole egg)
5 g salt
7g dried yeast
50g white sugar
40g soft butter
7 g mixed spice
100 ml tepid whole milk
75 ml tepid water
1 egg (supposed to be half but worked well with little extra flour)
I put this all in my trusty mixer and left to knead for 10 minutes, It turned out to be a very soft but not sticky dough.
while dough was kneading I chopped a knob of stem ginger into small lumps and weighed out 50 g of dark chocolate chips. Which I kneaded into dough once ready and fairly evenly mixed in. Back into bowl and covered in clingfilm and left until doubled, which was 40 minutes and a cup of tea with mum.
Then I tipped out onto a board and divided into 8 and formed into roll shapes and put in a greased tin so there was small gap between each one, covered again until doubled. next bit is the crosses. Leap of faith here but it works. whisk together
50g strong white flour
pinch of salt and sugar
little knob of butter
50 ml water
needs to be smooth and almost like very thick glace icing. pipe this onto the buns
1 egg cup full boiling water
2 tsp sugar
1 pinch mixed spice
this was generously brushed on buns as they came out of oven, didn't use it all but it made a lot of difference to final bun :o)