Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are spiced brioche-like breads, usually filled with currants or raisins and glazed with orange marmalade. They are decorated with an icing cross and served on Good Friday, a Christian holiday two days before Easter. The traditional hot cross bun is delicious, but when I saw it the iconic Bourke Street Bakery in Sydney, Australia, does chocolate hot sandwichesI was intrigued because I’ve always liked the combination of chocolate with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

I created this recipe for yeasted chocolate hot cross buns and loved the result. They are less sweet than cinnamon rolls or chocolate chip muffins and have the classic fluffy texture of brioche. The dough recipe is the result of tinkering with Breadtopia’s most classic ingredients: warm sourdough rolls with Kamut flour, and the chocolate icing, formulated to bake semi-solid rather than melt, was born out of luck and a bit of baker’s intuition. I definitely plan to bake these rolls at other times of the year without the frozen cross and possibly with candied orange peels.

[Jump to recipe]

Soft hot cross sandwiches spiced with chocolate chips.

Flour substitutions

The dough for these rolls is made of 75% strong bread flour and 25% wholemeal yecora rojo flour, which adds flavor and color. You can substitute other whole wheat varieties, bran extraction levels, and change ratios as desired. Simply add the water slowly and try to get the dough dry enough to form a ball but still elastic.

I also tried adding a spoonful of cocoa powder to the dough but I preferred the flavor of the rolls without this extra chocolate.

Test 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder into the dough.

Scale the recipe

This hot cross bun recipe is adapted for a 9 x 9-inch pan and makes nine buns. If you would like to make this recipe in a 9 x 13-inch pan for fifteen rolls or twelve very large rolls, multiply each ingredient by 1.45 to fill the volume of the largest pan. Feel free to round up and down as needed. For eggs, you can whisk two eggs together and then weigh out 70 grams of egg. (Eggs weigh about 50 grams on average, so 1.4 eggs equals 70 grams.)

Conversion to leavening with sourdough

To make these rolls with sourdough instead of instant yeast, subtract 80 grams of water and 80 grams of one of the two flours from the dough recipe; it does not matter which. Instead of instant yeast, mix 160 grams of mature sourdough into the dough. Expect longer rising times, such as around five hours for 75-100% expansion during the first rise and around three hours for the dough balls to double during the final rise. Keep in mind that dough/ambient temperature and starter strength may result in shorter or longer fermentation times.

Be sure to watch the Photo gallery after the target dough expansion recipe, whether you use instant yeast or sourdough starter.

Photo gallery

Related Articles

Cranberry Banana Bread


Olive Baguettes


Sourdough Tipo 00 Pizza with Fig Jam and Caramelized Onions


Leave a Comment