One of the best things about this time of year has got to be the abundance of hot cross buns in the shops, and though there’s nothing quite like homemade, there have been some amazing variations and flavours available in recent years. Waitrose has some particularly interesting flavours in store this year, including a toffee hot cross bun and a cherry bakewell hot cross bun created by chef Heston Blumenthal!
Waitrose are also running a fun competition this week in a search for new hot cross bun flavour suggestions, and they asked me to have a go at creating my own new flavoured hot cross bun. I had a good think and decided to try making a banana chocolate chip hot cross bun, which thankfully turned out to be rather delicious! You’ll find my recipe below, it’s a fun twist on traditional hot cross buns and it went down particularly well with my boys. Be sure to read right to the end of the post to find out how to enter your own flavour suggestion into the Waitrose competition too, you could be in with a chance to win £500 Waitrose vouchers and see your hot cross bun flavour on the shelves of Waitrose next year!
Banana Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns
- 200g strong white bread flour
- 200g plain white flour
- 1 tsp (7g) quick yeast
- 50g soft light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 250ml milk (I used soya)
- 50g butter or dairy free spread
- 1 medium egg
- 40g dried banana chips
- 1 small banana
- 60g dark chocolate chunks
- 50g plain flour
- 2 Tbs honey
In a large bowl, mix the flours, yeast, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
Gently heat the milk for 30-45 seconds in the microwave, melt the butter or spread in a small microwave safe bowl for 20-30 seconds and beat the egg.
Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the warm milk, melted butter and beaten egg.
Mix everything together until combined, then tip out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and springy. The dough will probably be very sticky, but persevere with it and feel free to add a little more flour as you go along if necessary, it will become less sticky when you’ve been kneading it for a while.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a plate or clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. This will usually take around an hour, depending on how warm your room is.
Whilst the dough is rising, pop the banana chips into a plastic freezer bag, seal and bash with a rolling pin until they crushed to large bread crumb size.
Once the dough has risen, grease a large baking sheet and put it aside. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, knead a couple of times and then pull out into a rough flat rectangle.
Mash the banana and spread it over the dough, then top with the crushed banana chips and chocolate chunks. Fold the dough over the enclose the fillings, then knead a few more times until combined.
Split the dough into 8 equal portions, roll each one into a smooth ball and place on the baking tray in two rows of four, leaving a little space between each for rising. Cover the tray with a clean plastic carrier bag or clean damp tea-towel and leave in warm place for around 20 minutes until doubled in size again.
Whilst the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 200°C (Gas mark 6/390°F). Mix 50g plain flour with 4-5 Tbs water to make a paste.
Once the buns are risen and ready to bake, spoon the flour paste into a piping bag and pipe it across the buns to form the crosses. If you don’t have a piping bag to hand then a small freezer bag will also work – just fill and cut off the tip.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until risen and golden.
As soon as you take the buns from the oven, brush them with a light layer of honey to glaze, then break the buns apart and cool on a wire rack.
NOTES: I made this hot cross bun recipe dairy free by using soya milk, Pure dairy free spread and Waitrose dark chocolate chunks, which are dairy free too, but if you don’t need to avoid dairy then the recipe will also work well with normal milk, butter and whatever chocolate chunks or chips you prefer.
If you’re unsure about how to knead the dough, this video tutorial might be helpful.
If you have a new hot cross bun flavour suggestion, be sure to share it on social media with Waitrose by using the #WaitroseHotCrossBun hashtag and tagging @Waitrose in your post. The winning flavour will be turned into a product that will go on shelves next year, and the first prize winner will receive £500 Waitrose vouchers with the two runners up getting £100 Waitrose vouchers each. Waitrose judges will narrow down the entries into a final three and then it will be put to a vote across our social communities to determine the winner. The winner will be announced by the end of May 2016. Good luck!
Disclosure: This blog post was commissioned by Waitrose as a part of the #WaitroseHotCrossBun campaign. I was compensated for my time and cost of ingredients, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.