choc-chai cross buns
Like all Hot Cross Buns, these are best eaten warm with a dollop of butter. Happy Easter Everyone! x
  • 400ml milk
  • 120g butter
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 star anise
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 750g plain flour
  • ½ C caster sugar
  • 14g instant yeast
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ C chocolate chips
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 100g sugar
How to make it
  1. Put the milk, butter, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, star anise, cloves and tea bags into a small saucepan and put it over a low heat, stirring occasionally so that all of the tea and spices brew into a luscious, buttery, chai tea. This will take about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, flour, sugar and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Zest the orange and lemon directly into the mixing bowl. Now stir everything in the bowl together so that it is evenly dispersed.
  3. Strain the milk so that the tea bag and whole spices have been taken out. When the milk is cool enough to touch without burning your finger, pour it into the bowl with the flour mixture, add the egg and stir well to combine.
  4. Knead the dough well using a stand mixer with a dough hook, or your hands, until it is smooth and elastic. When the dough is shiny and bouncing back, roll it out into a large rectangle, scatter the chocolate chips on top and then roll it up into a log so that there's layers of chocolate chips in the log. Bring it together into a round circular shape then knead it for another couple of minutes to bring the dough back together.
  5. Oil a large bowl and pop the dough into it. Cover with cling film and leave it to rise for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. When the dough has completed its first rise, pull it out of the bowl and give it a bit of a punch about to knock the air out of it. DIvide the dough into 20 smaller portions. Roll each portion well between your palm and the benchtop so that there are no visible seams and then position it on a lined baking tray. Repeat until you all 20 portions are rolled out.
  7. Pop a tea towel over the dough balls and leave them for a further 45 minutes to rise again.
  8. While the balls are rising, pre-heat the oven to 200C.
  9. If you would like to pipe crosses, mix an equal amount (in volume) of water and flour to create a thick paste - it should be the consistency of peanut butter - adding more water to make it runnier, or more flour to make it thicker. Pipe the crosses across the buns using a piping bag with a cut off tip.
  10. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, checking on them towards the end to make sure they do not burn.
  11. While the buns are baking, add 100g sugar and two black tea bags to 3 tbsp water in a small saucepan and let it bubble away until all of the sugar is dissolved. Set it aside to cool slightly.
  12. When then buns come out of the oven, brush the sugar syrup over the top immediately, making sure each bun has been glazed. Leave it for a couple of minutes and then repeat with another layer of the glaze before they're ready to eat!
Recipe by onebitemore at