From my story, “Thank you, Oz”
Yield: 12 buns
These Hot Cross Buns are inspired by the ones they sell in Australia: loaded with chocolate chips.
1 cup milk
3 cups all-purpose flour (about)
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoons salt
1 packages active dry yeast
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup margarine or butter (1/2 stick)
1 large egg + 1 for egg wash
¾ cup chocolate chips
In a small saucepan, heat the milk and the butter over medium-low heat just until the butter is melted and the milk begins to boil, then immediately remove from the heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 cup plus two tablespoons flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the yeast. Mix the dry ingredients at low speed for a few seconds, just to combine.
Pour the hot milk and butter into dry ingredients and mix on medium low speed until combined into a wet batter. Add the egg and increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth, about a minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Change the attachment on the mixer to the dough hook. Beat in ¼ cup plus two tablespoons flour or enough to make a thick batter. Add about 1 ¼ cups more flour to make a soft dough. Continue kneading at low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Add the chocolate chips and mix at low speed until they have been thoroughly distributed.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 2 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and place in large greased bowl, turning over so that top of dough is greased. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. (Dough is doubled when 2 fingers pressed into dough leave a dent.)
Punch down dough by pushing down the center or dough with fist, then pushing edges of dough into center. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead lightly to make smooth ball, cover with bowl for 15 minutes, and let dough rest.
Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Cover with a lightly damp kitchen towel, and allow the buns to rise in a warm place for another 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush the rolls with egg wash and bake for 14 to 16 minutes until browned. Cool thoroughly before icing.
½ cup plus 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp hot water
In a small bowl, whisk ingredients together until smooth. Pipe or spoon the icing in a cross on top of the buns. (I used a small piping bag fitted with a #104 tip.)