At 7am this morning I started to make some dough for my Hot Cross Buns. I left the dough to prove in a bowl on top of the oven. I knew I would be making something for the childrens’ breakfasts that would need the oven to be used so the heat from the oven would help the dough to rise. Also if left to its own devices the dough will rise but it just takes a little bit longer. I prefer when the dough takes a long, long time to prove and often make dough the night before I need it just to leave it to rise.  I think it is something to do with the smell of the yeast as it produces carbon dioxide which brings back memories from my brewery days. I added the dried fruit only at the beginning of mixing the dough as I had other ideas in my head for what flavours I wanted to add. I have included my original recipe for my Hot Cross Buns in my [amazon_textlink asin=’1520969627′ text=’Easter Treats recipe book ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’72e25b3e-1f6e-11e7-aa76-978d7abe41f9′]which is available through Amazon.

After about 21/2 hours the dough was ready to be shaped and the other flavours added. I had decided on white chocolate and cranberry as well as chocolate orange (as seen on an M&S advert recently which my husband commented on). For the white chocolate and cranberry, I chopped up the white chocolate into chunks and kneaded the dough whilst adding the cranberries and chocolate. The cranberries were a small packet of [amazon_textlink asin=’B004MC5CKK’ text=’dried cranberries ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’9393c5f9-1f71-11e7-aa76-978d7abe41f9′]which I had bought a while ago. I was intending to use them for some granola bar recipe but I can always buy some more.

Whilst the buns are proving I have cut a cross in the top, very slightly and then I have piped some flour paste in the cross shape so that when baked the cross will stand out more. it is a hot cross bun after all. I have also prepared the sugar glaze for the tops of the buns when they are finished baking. I am adding my recipe for the Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns as I think they are brilliant. This recipe is featured in my Easter Treats recipe book but without the chocolate. It is a more traditional recipe in the book which has a lot more Easter bakes that you can enjoy.

[lt_recipe name=”Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns” servings=”6″ prep_time=”2H50M” cook_time=”20M” total_time=”3H10M” difficulty=”Intermediate” summary=”A long preparation time but the end result is worth the effort. So much better than shop bought buns. Nutritionally, one bun contains 309 calories, 8.5g total fat (11% daily total fat), 51.6g total carbohydrate (19% daily total carbohydrate), 2.4g fibre (8% daily fibre) (based on a 2000 calorie diet).” print=”yes” image=”” ingredients=”For the dough:;8oz strong plain white flour;0.5 tsp salt;0.5 satchet dried yeast;1oz caster sugar;1oz melted butter;75ml tepid milk;3tbsp tepid water;2oz sweet mincemeat;2oz Terrys chocolate orange segments.;1 egg;For the cross:;1tbsp plain flour;1tbsp water;For the glaze:;2tbsp granulated sugar;2tbsp water;” ]In a bowl weigh out all the ingredients for the dough, except for the chocolate.;Mix everything together to form a dough.;Knead for 10 minutes before leaving in a covered bowl for 2 hours till doubled in size.;Remove from the bowl and knead in the chocolate which has been chopped up.;Divide into 6 pieces and shape before transferring to a baking tray.;Leave to prove for 30 minutes.;Preheat the oven to gas 7.;Cut a cross in the top very gently.;Mix the flour paste together and pipe onto the buns.;Bake for 15 – 20 minutes till golden brown.;Whilst the buns bake, prepare the glaze.;Heat the sugar and water gently in a pan to form a thick glaze.;When the buns are baked, brush the glaze over the surface.;;;;[/lt_recipe]

I have now joined Author Central at Amazon which is a community and help desk for publishing books which you have written yourself. It shows me the reviews from customers, the number of book sales, my rankings in the book world etc. at the moment I am still getting use to the adding of the adverts to my site to fill in the spaces which I haven’t managed to fill myself. I have been changing some of those ads which appear on my website as I feel there is too many of the same ones at the moment.

Finally the hot cross buns have baked and been taste tested by my husband and myself. They are really, really light and airy and so full of flavour. With the dried fruit that I used the other stranger flavours compliment the fruits. Very nice warm without any other additions but husband did cover his in butter whereas I enjoyed mine plain. I will definitely be making these again.