So, apparently it’s Easter this weekend.
How the heck did that spring up on us all so quickly? I had been planning to make hot cross buns for a few weeks and thought I had plenty of time… then BAM Easter is arriving and I realised I better get my skates on.
Lucky for me just as I was thinking I should start researching hot cross bun recipes, I was contacted by Wasamedia to see if I would be interested in joining a group of bloggers at Sweet Street (formerly Short Sweet) a French inspired patisserie for a hot cross bun making demonstration by owner and acclaimed chef Leanne Beck last weekend.
Leanne was invited to open Sweet Street in Parramatta (Church Street mall) with the backing of the local council in an effort to bring more local businesses to the area. With a great creative flair, Leanne has created a patisserie with a Surry Hills-esque cafe vibe for a fraction of money the Surry Hills hipsters spend – and she is proud of it!
With a devil may care attitude, a great affinity with the local people, and a fiery personality, Leanne fits into the local scene perfectly and its hard not to respect her.
Leanne’s hot cross buns seem to sell out pretty early on a daly basis, so I was looking forward to learning her technique. She talked us through the steps as she worked in her makeshift kitchen (they are building a new one a few doors down) and seems to work with a very relaxed vibe (my kind of chef).
I loved all the spices she put in her hot cross buns and immediately knew that this was a recipe I’d have to recreate.
While we were waiting for the dough to rise, we got to taste a selection of Sweet Street’s treats (say that 10 times fast) and what surprised me the most was the sheer variety of sweet and savoury items on offer – they definitely work hard at Sweet Street.
After a sweet overload (do yourself a favour and try the Lime Cheesecake – it’s amazing!) we then watched as Leanne then finished off the buns and each got a couple of them to take home.
After coming home from Sweet Street I was inspired to have a crack at my own version of Leanne’s wonderfully spicy buns. Now, I know purists will have a problem with this… but I was determined to make mine without the dried fruit. You see, Scotty isn’t a lover of dried fruit so why should he have to miss out on these wonderful Easter treats (also, I’ll tolerate dried fruit but I’m not really a lover). Leanne had told me that she thought it was totally fine to modify her recipe to make a chocolate version – so there!
Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns
Adapted from a recipe by Leanne Beck
1100g bakers flour (or 00 flour)
15g ground ginger
45g ground cinnamon
15g mixed spice
4 teaspoons dried yeast
200g chocolate chips
175g melted butter
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Place flour, ginger, cinnamon, mixed spice, salt, chocolate chips and yeast in a mixing bowl with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Add melted butter to bowl. Turn the machine on to mix on the lowest speed. Slowly add water whilst the machine is still mixing.
Remove mixture from bowl and place in a large bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Once covered place bowl in a warm dry place till mixture has doubled in size. After mixture has doubled in size, cut off pieces and weigh out to 120 grams. Once mixture is all weighed out, roll each piece into balls and place onto a lined baking tray leaving only approximately 1.5cm space between each ball. Lay a damp towel on top of the balls and place in a warm dry place till once again doubled in size.
To make topping place all of the flour, milk, oil and salt in a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment and mix till combined. Place topping mixture into a piping bag with a round nozzle of your desired size.Once buns have doubled in size pipe the topping onto the buns, pipe long lines from one bun to another connecting them together. Once piped both the horizontal and the vertical lines, place the hot cross buns in the oven.The hot cross buns will take about 30 minutes in the oven and will be cooked when once tapping the bottom you can hear a hollow sound. Remove from oven and set aside.
Place water and caster sugar into a pot on medium high heat and stir until sugar has melted. Bring to the boil and then boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and using a pastry brush, brush the glaze onto the cooked buns.Enjoy warm with melted butter.
Amanda was invited to join Leanne Beck for this demonstration and would like to thank George and David from Wasamedia.