Easter would not be the same without some delicious hot cross buns smothered with some butter and a delicious cup of tea. Here is a yummy twist where I added some dried sour cherries and dark chocolate.

Ingredients

280ml organic milk
70g organic butter
60g honey
20ml finely grated orange zest
10g instant yeast
1 large free range egg
5ml vanilla
500g organic spelt flour (organic cake flour if you can't get spelt flour)
5ml himalayan salt
5ml organic cinnamon
10ml organic ginger
2.5ml organic nutmeg
100g dried sour cherries
80g dark chocolate (80% organic), roughly chopped

Vegan's Version

Replace the honey with maple or agave syrup, replace the butter with a vegetable oil, replace the milk with almond or soya milk and don't add the egg, this is just added for extra flavour as the yeast will make the dough rise.

Instructions

  • Heat the milk, butter, honey and orange zest together until the butter has melted and the mixture is lukewarm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave to stand for a few minutes.
  • Place the flour, salt and spices into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add in the milk and yeast mixture as well as the egg and vanilla extract.
  • Use the dough hook on your mixer to mix together until a soft dough has formed. Continue mixing for 5 minutes until the dough starts “climbing” the dough hook. Scoop the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand for a further 5 minutes. Alternatively use a wooden spoon to blend the ingredients together and knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand.
  • Place the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with wet baking paper or a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in volume.
  • Add the sour cherries and chocolate chunks to the risen dough and knead in to distribute evenly. Roll the dough into 12-18 equal balls (depending on how big you like them) and place onto a lined baking tray, quite close together but not touching. Cover with wet baking paper and leave to rise for a further 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.

For the Cross

  • Make a flour paste by mixing some flour and honey together, then gradually add just enough milk to make a thick paste. Place into a piping bag.
  • Brush the risen buns with a little milk, then pipe on the flour paste crosses.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile make a glaze by heating some honey and water together
  • Remove the buns from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Brush the warm buns with the warm honey glaze, then leave to cool a little more until ready to eat!
  • Best serve fresh, smothered in organic butter.

Tip

Can also be enjoyed the next day by halving the hot cross buns, then toasting in your toaster until crispy.