The weather is perfect for baked things, with this wonderful rain we have today! All of a sudden my dormant seeds have burst out of the soil and are rapidly presenting themselves to the world. I keep ducking outside to look at them, as I’ve never seen plants grow so quickly. In the theme of growing things, I am also growing things in my kitchen! For once, I don’t mean mouldy dishes (joking). And I’m also not referring to my sourdough (who hates me, despite my love and care and feeding of the best flour and water available). I just mean regular ordinary dough for wonderfully delicious HOT CROSS BUNS.
Because it’s Easter. And what I like about Easter is that it doesn’t try to hide it’s commercialism. While Christmas is all about other things – consumerism wrapped up in the pretext of “family” and “giving” and “Celebration” and “carols” and “trees” blabla – Easter just presents itself as a holiday of Chocolate. It’s the festival of Milk. There aren’t any real songs about it, and there’s nothing closer to Godly than the poor attempt at dabbing a cross on things, like breads. This doesn’t apply to people that celebrate it for religious purposes, of course. But no one pretends at Easter, whereas at Christmas, the ocassional “submarine Christian” will pop up and notch an angel on their tree or set up a token nativity… oh my goodness, this is cynical! haha.
Anyway, I had the joy of discovering a Hot Cross Bun recipe at vegandad’s website. It was simple, the result was so soft and spongy and everything an addict could want in their buns (you may recall my partner had banned me from purchasing biscuits and pre-made hot cross buns several weeks ago). I decided to update it, and made the buns CHOCOLATE.
- 1 cup soy mylk
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 TB instant yeast
- 2 TB flax seed, ground
- 5 TB warm water
- ⅓ cup cacao powder
- 1 TB cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- zest of 2 oranges (optional)
- 3-4 cups flour
- 60g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup icing sugar
- In a small bowl, heat the water and mylk. I normally dip my finger in, and when it's comfortably warm (not hot!) then it's ready. Turn off the heat. Add in the yeast and sugar. Give it a stir, then let foam up for about 5 minutes. If it doesn't foam after this time, your yeast is probably dead!
- In a larger bowl, stir together the flaxmeal and warm water. Let it soak together for a few minutes.
- Add in the cocoa, cinnamon, salt and zest, as well as the yeast mix. Stir well.
- Pour in the flour. Use a big spoon to combine the mix, then pour the gunk out onto a floured surface.
- Adding more flour as needed, knead your dough for about 5 minutes. It should be light and spongy and springy.
- Smoosh the dough out on your board, then sprinkle over the chocolate. Knead for another minute, to ensure the chocolate is evenly dispersed.
- Here, I wrap in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge overnight. Otherwise, skip this step.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with a moist towel. Sit somewhere warm, and let it prove for about an hour (or until doubled in size). If you refrigerated overnight, let the dough get to room temperature before counting your hour.
- Divide the dough into 12 evenly shaped rolls. Place in a 30x20 brownie tin. Cover and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat you oven to 180*C. When the rolls have risen, bake them for 15-20 minutes, until beautifully golden.
- You can glaze them if you like, and do the little crosses.