CHOCOLATE EGGS and hot cross buns are an important part of any Easter celebration, so what better way to see in the holiday than with a unique twist on both.
Hot cross buns - traditionally sweet and spicy and filled with fruit - are generally eaten on Good Friday.
The cross on top represents the crucifixion of Jesus.
You might have to make an exception for this recipe though.
This alternative Guinness chocolate chip sourdough hot cross bun recipe is for 12 buns and comes direct from Lauren Bakes excellent baking blog.
They require at least a day in advance of baking to prep but, as the say goes, good things come to those who wait.
What you’ll need:
100g sourdough starter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons allspice
800g strong white flour + a couple of tablespoons extra for the crosses
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
50g caster sugar + 1 tablespoon extra for the glaze
1 large egg
50g melted butter
200g dark chocolate, chopped into chips
How to make it:
1. Start preparing early. Begin by whisking together the Guinness and sourdough starter in a large bowl. Stir in the various spices and add 250g of the white flour. Now cover the mix with a cling film lid and leave it for at least six hours to ferment.
2. Later, mix the remaining flour along with the salter and sugar in a large bowl. Add in your Guinness batter along with the egg and melted butter. Mix until you have a shaggy mess of dough. If the batter is struggling to absorb any of the flour, add in little extra Guinness until it mixes in. Not too much of course. Leave the dough for 10 minutes.
3. Chop up the chocolate and add to the bowl containing the dough. Stretch and knead until all of the chocolate is incorporated into the dough. Cover with Clingfilm again and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.
4. Next, stretch and knead the dough for around continuously 10 seconds before leaving to rest for another 30 minutes. Once the time has elapsed take the dough out of the bowl and stretch it out into a rectangle shape. Fold the right third to the centre and then repeat with the left third. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. Return to the bowl for a 60-minute rest before repeating the trick. Then return to the bowl for a final two-hour rest.
5. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Divide the dough up into 100g lumps, roll them into balls and place them on the baking tray, ideally touching each other but only just. Cover with Clingfilm lightly greased with vegetable oil and leave in the fridge overnight.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 200c (180c if a fan oven). Take the bun dough mix out of the fridge 30-60 minutes before baking. Mix flour and water to create a paste, adding a tablespoon of each until the mix reaches a satisfactory consistency.
7. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe long lines across the rows of buns to create crosses. Put the buns inside the preheated oven and place an oven dish with a cup of boiling water at the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake for 25 minutes.
8. Take the buns out the oven. Mix a tablespoon of boiling water with a tablespoon of caster sugar to create a syrup. Brush the mix over the buns, making sure to cover completely. Slide off the baking paper and leave on a wire crack to cool.