Chocolate hot cross bun loaf

A delicious treat for Easter

Chocolate hot cross bun loaf

Chocolate hot cross bun loaf

Serves Serves 10 to 12
Time Cooks In2 hours 40 minutes
DifficultyNot too tricky
Nutrition per serving Plus
  • Calories 317 16%
  • Fat 9.4g 13%
  • Saturates 4.4g 22%
  • Sugars 19.2g 21%
  • Salt 0.4g 7%
  • Protein 6.8g 14%
  • Carbs 53.2g 20%
  • Fibre 2.8g -
Of an adult's reference intake
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Ingredients

  • 200 g mixed dried fruit , such as dates, cranberries, raisins, sour cherries
  • 150 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 x 7 g sachet of dried yeast
  • 4 teaspoons runny honey
  • 30 g blanched hazelnuts
  • 400 g strong white bread flour , (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 50 g unsalted butter , (softened, plus extra for greasing, at room temperature)
  • 50 g dark chocolate , (70%)
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
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Method

  1. Roughly chop any larger pieces from 200g of mixed dried fruit (such as dates, cranberries, raisins, sour cherries), destoning the dates (if using), and place half in a small bowl. Just cover with boiling water and leave to soak.
  2. Gently heat 150ml of semi-skimmed milk in a small pan over a low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly warmed. Pour into a jug, then stir in 1 x 7g sachet of dried yeast and 2 teaspoons of runny honey.
  3. Blitz 30g of blanched hazelnuts in a food processor until roughly chopped, then tip into a bowl.
  4. Tip the soaked mixed fruit and soaking water into the food processor and blitz until roughly chopped and slightly jammy.
  5. Add 400g of strong white bread flour, 1½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of sea salt, then pour in the yeast mixture and blitz for 1 minute, or until you have a smooth dough.
  6. Cut 50g of unsalted butter into cubes, add to the dough and pulse until combined.
  7. Transfer to a flour-dusted surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth and springy. Place in a large flour-dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and prove in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  8. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/gas 3. Grease a 1-litre loaf tin, then dust with a little flour.
  9. Carefully knock the air out of the dough, then transfer to a clean flour-dusted surface. Sprinkle over the remaining dried fruit and knead it into the dough for 2 minutes.
  10. Roll the dough out to roughly 25cm x 25cm. Break 50g of dark chocolate into small chunks and sprinkle over the dough with the hazelnuts, pushing them into the dough with your fingertips.
  11. Roll up the dough into loose sausage shape then carefully place it into the tin and pop in a warm place for a further 30 minutes.
  12. Mix 2 tablespoons of plain flour with 2 tablespoons of water and use a teaspoon or piping bag to draw a cross on the top of the loaf.
  13. Bake in the hot oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden.
  14. When the time’s up, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 to 10 minutes, then tip out onto a wire cooling rack and brush with the remaining 2 teaspoons of honey before serving.