The original recipe for a Hot Cross Bun is a sandwich using white bread featuring spices and sultanas inside. This delicious double chocolate version, from our friend Lidia at Nonsolofood, concentrates on cocoa and chocolate chips but if you like them then you can add spices to taste, from cinnamon to cardamom. You can also add dehydrated fruit, in this case you can use cranberries which go well with the chocolate, or simply grate orange zest. Don’t forget your Falcon Square Bake Tray.

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns


For tang zhong

•​​ 20 g of manitoba flour
•​​ 90g of whole milk

For the dough

•​​ 165g of 0 flour
•​​ 165 g of manitoba flour
•​​ 180g of whole milk
•​​ 20 g of bitter cocoa
•​​ 70 g of sugar
•​​ 4 g of dehydrated brewer's yeast
•​​ 50g of butter
•​​ 150 g of chocolate chips

For the cross

•​​ 30 g of 0 flour
•​​ 30 g of water

For finishing

•​​ 40 g of water
•​​ 40 g of sugar

We start by preparing tang zhong which is a method used in Japan to make bread much softer .

Pour the flour and milk into a saucepan . Start with a little, work and then add the rest, so as not to form lumps. Turn on the heat and mix with a spatula. It will slowly thicken until it forms a harder paste, like when making a roux. At that point, turn off.

Pour the tang zhong and cold milk into the bowl of the mixer. Turn on the planetary mixer with the dough hook. Then pour in the two flours , the cocoa (remember that the cocoa must always be sifted first ), the sugar and the yeast . Work for about 7/10 minutes, at this point add the salt . Salt is always added after activating the yeast while working the dough. Work for a couple of minutes and then add the butter for stringing.

The butter must be in small cubes . Add one cube at a time. You must be patient and add the next one only once the previous one has been completely incorporated. It will take about 15 minutes . You know that the butter has been absorbed when there is no residue left on the bowl while the mixer works and the dough begins to "slap" the bowl.

This is always the step where I thank myself for having a stand mixer.

Let's go back to the dough. Lastly, add the chocolate chips. Form a ball and place it in the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for about 2.5 hours. It will have to double. Once the time has passed, weigh the dough and divide it into 9 equal parts. Form small loaves and place them in a square mold lined with baking paper. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

At this point prepare the dough for the crosses. Mix flour and water in a bowl. Place the dough in a piping bag, make a not too large cut at the bottom and create crosses on the buns. The lines, both vertical and horizontal, must be continuous. See how to do it in this video .

Bake at 180° static and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack. Wait 10 minutes before removing the buns from the mold. You won't have to detach each bun, but move the entire block by taking the edges of the baking paper.

When they are perfectly cold , prepare the icing by making a syrup of water and sugar which you boil for a couple of minutes. With a brush, brush the surface of the buns. Don't do this if the buns are still hot otherwise they will absorb the syrup and once dry they will no longer be shiny.



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