Chocolate and peanut butter hot cross buns
- March 2021
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 20-25 min, plus rising and proving
In this recipe, traditional hot cross buns get an updated twist with chocolate and peanut butter – ideal if you’re not a fan of dried fruit. Try them served sliced with butter, or go extra decadent with chocolate spread.
If you prefer your hot cross buns to be of the traditional variety, try this classic version.
- 15.2g (6.6g saturated)
- 46g (16.3g sugars)
- 0.6g salt
- 200ml whole milk, warm
- 7g fast-action dried yeast
- 60g caster sugar
- Finely grated zest and juice ½ orange
- 200g plain flour
- 200g strong white bread flour
- 50g cocoa, sifted
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 3 medium free-range eggs (2 beaten together, plus 1 beaten separately for the first glaze)
- 65g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
- 5 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 75g chocolate chips
- 40g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- Golden syrup or runny honey for the final glaze
For the cross topping
- 50g plain flour
- 50g icing sugar
- 2½ tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
You’ll also need…
- Baking sheet lined with compostable baking paper
- Piping bag fitted with a 0.5cm plain nozzle (or make a cone from rolled up baking paper)
Useful to have
- Stand mixer fitted with a dough hook
- Put the warm milk, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), stir to dissolve the yeast and milk, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside for 15 minutes for the yeast to activate (the mixture will look a bit frothy).
- Add the orange zest and juice, flours, cocoa, spices, salt and 2 beaten eggs to the yeast mixture and bring together with a wooden spoon (or mix on a low speed) until the mixture begins to come together into a slightly sticky dough.
- Turn out the onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the butter, piece by piece, and the peanut butter 1 tbsp at a time until combined. (If making in a stand mixer, increase the speed to medium and add the butter and peanut butter in the same way.) By hand or in a stand mixer, knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.
- Add the chocolate chips and peanuts, then knead again until evenly incorporated. Scrape the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
- Turn out the dough onto the work surface (see tips) and divide into 12 even pieces. Shape into buns and set 2cm apart on the prepared baking sheet so they have space to grow. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove (rise a second time once shaped) at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas 6. Put all the ingredients for the cross topping in a mixing bowl, whisk until smooth and thick, then scrape into the prepared piping bag (or baking paper cone – snip a bit of the end off).
- Brush the buns with the 1 beaten egg, then allow to dry. Pipe over the crosses, then brush with egg again. Put the buns in the oven, immediately reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas 4, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked. Transfer to a wire rack, brush with a little syrup or honey and leave to cool, then serve fresh or toasted with butter.
You shouldn’t need any flour during shaping, as the dough has a high fat content that will prevent it from sticking to the surface.
Keep the finished buns in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Alternatively, freeze in a sealed freezer bag for up to 1 month.
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