Chocolate cranberry hot cross bun loaf

Chocolate cranberry hot cross bun loaf.
Chocolate cranberry hot cross bun loaf. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

We have many fans of our chocolate bread. One of our customers once made some chocolate bread-and-butter puddings, flavoured with Cointreau custard, for the staff at my bakery in Armadale. Sometimes we make this with candied orange pieces, and sometimes with sour cherries. The tartness of the cranberries balances the intensity of the chocolate. This will make three large loaves, so you can give one or two to your neighbours. It makes a wicked french toast.


900g bread flour 

100g rye flour

100g Dutch cocoa powder

100g castor sugar

100g unsalted butter, room temperature

20g salt

2 tsp dried yeast 

700ml water

300g dark couverture chocolate (chopped or buttons)

300g dried cranberries 


1. Place all the ingredients, apart from the chocolate and the cranberries, into the bowl of a mixer and blend together on a low speed. Increase mixer to the next speed and blend until a dough develops and comes away from the sides of the bowl quite cleanly.

2. Rest the dough for five minutes before adding the cranberries and chocolate. Blend until evenly mixed through.

3. Prove the dough for two hours or until it almost doubles in size. Knock back and divide into three, and mould into balls, dust lightly with flour, and prove again until the balls double in size. Cut a cross on the top using a razor blade and bake without steam in the oven for 30 minutes at 210C in a conventional oven.

4. Remove and allow to cool before slicing and serving with unsalted cultured butter, ricotta or fresh goat's cheese.