Serve up this year's hot cross buns with a pear and chocolate twist for a sweet treat over the Easter long weekend.
Spiced pear and chocolate hot cross buns
Cook time 30 minutes | Prep time 30 minutes
7g sachet fast action dried yeast
¼ cup raw caster sugar
280ml warm milk
60g unsalted butter, melted
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
3 ½ cup strong bakers plain flour
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
260g dried pear, chopped
100g chocolate chips
flour paste for crosses
1/2 cup plain flour
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apricot jam, hot
Combine yeast, sugar and warm milk together in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, stirring to combine. Cover and allow to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until mixture starts to froth. Add butter and egg, stirring to combine.
Add flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, ginger and salt to the yeast mixture. Using an electric stand mixer with a dough hook, mix until dough comes together. Knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and leave to stand in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced) and lightly grease a 23cm square or 28cm round cake tin. Turn dough onto a clean floured surface, knocking the air out of it and knead for a further 5 minutes or until smooth, working in the pear and chocolate; making sure they are well distributed through the dough.
Divide dough into 16 equal pieces and shape into balls. Place balls into prepared tin, cover and stand in warm place for 30 minutes or until balls have doubled in size.
For the flour paste, combine flour, sugar, oil and water, stirring until smooth. Place paste in a disposable piping bag or clean zip lock bag and snip the corner and pipe crosses on buns.
Bake buns in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the tops are golden. Remove from oven and turn buns out onto a wire rack. To double check they are cooked, the base should sound hollow when tapped. Brush tops of buns with hot apricot jam glaze and allow to cool on wire rack.
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