Who would have thought I would create a Chocolate Chai Spiced Hot Cross Buns. I have been trying to make that perfect hot cross bun for a while now.
Chocolate Chai Spiced Hot Cross Buns
However, I was never quite satisfied with the recipes I created. Yesterday I thought why not add some chai spice instead of the usual spice that everyone uses. I thought it was an ingenius idea.
Of course, thinking I was the only one that ever thought of it. After I finished baking them I thought let me google and check if mine is the first. Guess what it is not so ingenius after all.
There are other recipes that has chocolate and chai but to be very honest I did not even look at them. The reason I didn’t was because I didn’t want to be disappointed if I thought the other recipes were better.
In my books mine is perfect and I am sticking with that. Nobody is going to burst my bubble because I don’t come up with ingenius ideas too often…let me bask in the glory…Lol!
Did I tell you I am not a fan of raisins. It’s another reason I was so determined to make hot cross buns a different way.
I have gotten better over the years and I do eat a little bit of raisins these days. But just don’t give me an overload of it.
If I think there’s too much raisins in one place I definitely dig them out…haha! The only thing I eat without causing too much of a mess is my mom-in-laws Eggless Fruit Cake.
It has raisins but the cake is so delicious that I honestly don’t even think of the raisins. Let’s get on with my Chocolate Chai Spiced Hot Cross Buns.
Well if you’ve had a masala chai then you will already know what to expect with these Hot Cross Buns. For me the spice was just right, but if you want more spicy you can definitely add a little more.
I tried to keep a balance between the chocolate and the chai spice. I didn’t want one overpowering the other and this seemed to have worked well.
Making the dough
For most of my bread recipes I stick to using cake wheat flour. Although often I do have bread flour in my pantry.
The reason I do this is so that everyone can enjoy making the recipes I share. Cake wheat flour is something majority of us have in our pantries all the time.
I also use instant dry yeast, the Anchor yeast in a purple packet. Let me just say I have never had a disaster with any of my breads using this yeast.
Always make sure your yeast is fresh. If I open a packet of yeast and I don’t use all of it I store the leftover in the refrigerator to stay fresh.
Most breads require a soft dough. Some may not but majority of the recipes are very similar.
When you start making a bread dough it is almost always sticky. But never be tempted to add more flour.
First knead for a few minutes and if you feel it is still far too sticky then add a little bit of flour. But in most instances that sticky dough turns into a silky smooth dough.
Obviously if you use an electric mixer, which I don’t have right now, you knead for less time. By hand you knead for a longer time, usually about ten minutes.
Kneading the dough makes bread light, airy and chewy. If the gluten is not well developed bread and rolls will be flat and hard.
Therefore the kneading is important. There are recipes for no knead hot cross buns but personally I haven’t tried them.
These hot cross buns are eggless which is great for vegetarians and those with egg allergies. If you want to turn this into a vegan option you can replace the butter with oil and use warm water instead of milk.
You can also use a vegan chocolate.
I roasted and ground my own spices for the chai spice. If you wish to use a store bought chai spice you can perhaps try with about 2 teaspoons of spice.
Roasting and grinding your own spices guarantees a fresh, aromatic spice mix.
More Bread Recipes to try:
Chocolate Chai Spiced Hot Cross Buns
- 2 cups cake wheat or all purpose flour
- 1 tsp instant dry yeast
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- chai spice
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp honey
Chai Spice Mix
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 5 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick about 5cm
- 1 star aniseed
- 1/4 cup cake wheat or all purpose flour
- 2-3 tbsp water
Chai Spice Mix
- Add all the spices to a pan and toast them on a low heat until fragrant
- Allow it to cool and grind in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Set aside
Hot Cross Buns
- Heat the milk and the butter on the stovetop of microwave until warm. Takes about 40 seconds in the microwave. Set aside
- You can use a large bowl or an electric mixer to make the dough. First place all the dry ingredients in the bowl, flour, sugar, yeast, sugar, salt, chai spice and cocoa. Mix it all together
- Add the milk/butter and mix to combine. Knead for 6 minutes in an electric mixer or 10 minutes if using your hands. Dough will feel sticky at first but on kneading it will turn soft and smooth
- Grease a bowl with some oil. Rub some oil on the dough. Place in the bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm place to rise for an hour.
- After one hour. Punch the dough down. Mix in 3/4 cup of chocolate chips and set aside 1/4 cup for later.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, about 52g each. Roll them into neat balls. Place them on a baking tray or a large glass dish. Spread them a little apart. Add the 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top of the buns.Cover and place in a warm place for 30 minutes, it will rise again
- Mix the flour and water for the crosses. It must be a thick, runny paste so add a little water at a time. Add the mixture to a ziplock bag or piping bag. Cut a small hole at the tip and pipe crosses on the buns. Pipe them along the curves too so go slow. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- Bake the buns for 20 minutes or until buns are a deep brown in colour
- Heat the honey until runny. Brush the buns, whilst still warm, with the honey
- The weather does affect the moisture in the flour. If at times the dough is far too sticky add a little more flour
- Make sure your milk is not too hot or it will kill the yeast. 40 seconds in the microwave works fine for me but test with your finger. It shouldn't burn
- You can use bread flour for this recipe if you wish
- If you are using a stand mixer it should take about 5-6 minutes to knead the dough
- You can replace the honey with some warm apricot jam, you can add a little water to it and heat it