The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hot Cross Buns

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Syd's picture
Syd

Hot Cross Buns


This made some of the nicest hot cross buns I have ever tasted.  I used the same dough as for the Asian Style Pain de Mie but added:



  • two very generously heaped teaspoons of mixed spice (I made my own and used these ratios which I found on the internet)


16 parts cinnamon
8 parts coriander
4 parts allspice
2 parts ginger
2 parts nutmeg
1 part ground clove


I used whole spices and ground them up in a coffee grinder. I think using my own freshly ground spices made all the difference to this dough.  The aroma was intoxicating.  Nothing I have ever bought from a shop smells even remotely as fresh and as pungent as that.  Omit this step at your own peril!



 



  • 230g of raisins


I scaled them at about 90g a piece and arranged them close to (but not touching) one another on a baking tray.  This amount of dough made 24 buns.  For the cross on top I made a paste of flour and water which I sweetened with some sugar and then piped it on with a piping bag.



They took about 2 and a half hours to rise.  I baked at 180C (with convection on) for 18 mins.  I allowed them to cool slightly for five minutes before removing from the pan and placing on a wire rack to cool.



They are pillow soft and delightfully fragrant.



I expect them to keep well, too seeing that I used the water roux method.  They took three and a half days to make from start to finsih but they were well worth the effort.


Syd

Comments

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Syd,


Those are terrific looking hot cross buns! The shaping, panning and piping are all spot on, which makes the presentation picture perfect. Very very nice! You don't mention the inclusion of any raisins and/or mixed fruit in the buns, which is typical of all the recipes I'm familiar with. Was this a personal preference, as I know a lot of folks aren't keen on the mixed fruit, or is it the way hot cross buns are made in your part of the world. Regardless, your hot cross look delicious!


Franko

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Franko. :) I added only raisins because that was all I had on hand.  Next time I will definitely try adding some mixed fruit or some candied peel as Sylvia suggested.  Thanks for your nice comments.


All the best,


Syd

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Freshly ground spices make such a delicious addition!  I can just smell that little photo of your spice filled bowl.  I was also looking for the raisins and dried citrus as Franko mentioned.  I make fresh dried candied citrus and have almost finished it off, snacking on it, now I need to make more for the HCB.  If you have the time and like citrus rind, do try making your own..not the same as that store bought stuff.


This was one of my mum's favorite breads to bake and, take along on our fishing vacations.  I still love HCB and make them all year long, they are great even plain without the icing cross, for just a breakfast or snack bun.


Sylvia

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

just noticed your note of raisins and now that I've opened up my eyes, I see them : ) Syd!  


Sylvia

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks for noticing what I didn't Sylvia. Sorry Syd, I was too focused on the photos and missed the mention of raisins in the text.


Franko

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Sylvia.  :)



If you have the time and like citrus rind, do try making your own..not the same as that store bought stuff.



I do love citrus, and that is most certainly something I will try in the future.  I loved your post on Goji muffins with candied citrus peel:  they were beautiful and are on my 'to do' list!


Syd

GaryJ's picture
GaryJ

Hi Syd,

They look stunning. Very impressive baking.

Regards,

Gary

Syd's picture
Syd

Thank you, Gary! :)


Syd

wally's picture
wally

Beautiful hand work that's evident in the finished product.  I like the spicing recipe you've incorporated.  Thanks so much for sharing with us!


Nice bake!


Larry

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Larry! :)


Best.


Syd

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

They're picture perfect, syd. The piping is spot on, the crumb looks great. Grinding your own spice must have made a big difference.

Sue
http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Sue. :)  Yes, grinding my own spice made all the difference.  Everytime I grind my own spices (which is quite often) I always remind myself never to buy ground spice from the shop and keep them in my kitchen cupboard again (which I sometimes do out of convenience).  Once ground, they lose flavour within days.  So I buy spice whole and keep them tightly sealed in a container in the fridge and grind when needed.


Best,


Syd

kim's picture
kim

Syd,


Good looking HCB. Your buns are in even shape, size and the piping is spot on too. I bet they taste really good especially the next day because all the spices that you mix in the dough.


Kimmy

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Kimmy! :)  Drove past 吳寶春 again today and the line came out of the bakery and stretched around the corner.  I didn't have any time to wait.  So much for third time lucky!


Syd

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I've been trying 3-4 HCB recipes for the last 2 Easters, and had already chosen the ones I'm going to use this Easter. One is Sylvia's from last year, which I've been looking forward to...but looks like I'll be adding another to make a queue of 3. Yours look so good they demand to be made this year and no correspondence will be entered into.


I grind my own spices for everything, and for some dishes also pre-roast them (although this is not always appropriate in all cuisines, since although heating 'freshens up' the spices, it also changes the flavour qualities to varying degrees). As you say, fresh-ground makes a big difference.


Thanks for your post!


Cheers!
Ross

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks for your comments, Ross. :)  I also pre-roast my spices for some dishes (particularly Indian food).  The roasting adds a whole new dimension. 


All the best,


Syd

louie brown's picture
louie brown

I've saved this one. Do you think a few walnut pieces would be ok, or would that be heresy?

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Louie! :)  I think walnut pieces would be an excellent addition.  Wishing I had thought of that myself!


Best,


Syd

Mebake's picture
Mebake

They look Great, Syd! Are Hot cross buns intended to be Spicey..? i havn't eaten any yet.

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Khalid. :) Yes, I think all hot cross buns have some sort of a spice blend in them.  I think it is the combination of spice and the raisins (or currants or dried mixed fruit) that distinguishes them from a plain enriched bun.  They are great fresh but are lovely toasted, too. 


All the best,


Syd

mimifix's picture
mimifix

Thank you, Syd! I love the idea of making a sweet paste with flour, sugar, water, and then piping it on pre-baking. I've always piped on a confectioners' icing after baking/cooling, but then packaging is problematic. No matter how careful I am, I'm always licking my fingers. Not that this is such a terrible problem :) but I prefer your method.


Mimi

Syd's picture
Syd

Thank you, Mimi. :) I got the idea of making the cross from a water/flour paste from The Bread Book by Linda Colister and Anthony Blake.  It was the second book on bread baking that I ever bought and it is still one of my favourites for inspiration, plus I just love looking at its photos.  I stand to be corrected, but I think that the water/flour paste is the more traditional way of making the cross on the buns.  I have never eaten one from a bakery with icing on it. 


Best,


Syd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Syd, Your spice mix sounds incredible. And what a steady hand you have with the pastry bag!
Those hot cross buns are real beauties - your post is on going on my favorites list, for Easter.
Thanks for sharing this!
from breadsong

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Breadsong! :)


All the best,


Syd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Syd,
I tried making your Hot Cross Buns. I tasted a bit of one, and love the flavor and soft, tender crumb!
Thanks so much for the 'pain de mie' formula and method - and the fresh ground spices are fabulous in these buns.
I used Mr. Hamelman's crossing paste but I prefer the look of yours.
I tried to firm up the crossing paste, in the fridge (then the freezer), to make it easier to pipe (this crossing paste has butter and did not hold its shape like yours did during baking).
Next time I make these I'll try to mix up crossing paste more like you've described (note for next year!).
Here are some pictures -
   



Thanks so much Syd -
from breadsong

Syd's picture
Syd

You're welcome, breadsong. :)  Your hot cross buns look lovely!  Yes, I think you want the crossing paste to be as plain as possible so that it doesn't brown and thus provides as much contrast with the bun as possible.  The buns are rich enough on their own and don't need any help from the paste.  You also want the consistency of it to be just pipeable.  In other words you want to make it so that if it were any stiffer, it would be very difficult to squeeze out the nozzle.  Too much liquid and it will run.  I mixed up the paste three times before I was satisfied with the consistency. 


All the best,


Syd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thanks Syd, so much, for your advice and 'how to' for the crossing paste.
I will keep this in mind for next year.
I'm so glad to have tried these, and the water roux method. The flavor and texture are amazing.
Thanks again, Syd!
from breadsong

teketeke's picture
teketeke

They look lascious, Syd!  They are really perfect looking hot buns!!  I like the freshly grounded spices, too !!  The wonderful aroma will come out from the buns. Very nice, Syd!!


Best wishes,


Akiko

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks, Akiko!  :) They were really well worth the effort.


All the best,


Syd

sonia101's picture
sonia101

I keep coming back to this recipe........I can smell the spices from here ( I love making my own fresh spices) These look amazing and I'm going to start them in the morning, thanks for the recipe.

Syd's picture
Syd

You're welcome. :)

rhomp2002's picture
rhomp2002

Come to NYC.  Almost all hot cross buns here have piped on icing.  Entenmann's is just one example.  It is hard to find hot cross buns that don't have piped on icing here.  I hate the stuff and love that you made the piped on stuff the right way.  Will be  trying this one.

Grenage's picture
Grenage

I know that this is an old thread, but I just wanted to say that I made these with sourdough leaven at weekend; they turned out wonderfully, and had a life expectency of 30 seconds round the family home.  Just as well really, my poor mother had hers turn out like rock cakes.

Thanks!

Syd's picture
Syd

You're welcome Grenage.  Was sourdough your only leaven or did you add yeast, too?  There is about 15% sugar in that dough and my sourdough leaven doesn't do well with all that amount of sugar.  It will rise, but it takes a long time and has less volume than regular yeast.

Best,

Syd

Grenage's picture
Grenage

Hi Syd,

It was my only leaven, and it did take a rather long time to rise; the centre wasn't as fluffy as your baker's yeast results.  That's most likely down to my beginner level of skill, and using a different yeast.  Still, gorgeous result that I'd have no problems with again!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Those are the nicest hot cross buns that anyone could imagine.   The spice mix has to put them over the top.  I use a similar SM all my fruit pies, and tortes it seems. 

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks dabrownman. The dough is beautifully soft (although it does take a while to make) and the fresh spice mix gives it a special flavour.  Thanks for commenting. :)

Syd

bertie26's picture
bertie26

Hello Syd

I just saw tghis and it looks lovely. I like the use of freshly ground spices. it  is a wonderful mix. 

I must admit my buns was rather timid compared to yours , I did get a few good comments from people though so I cannot complasin.

Take care until next time 

Albert

Syd's picture
Syd

You're welcome Albert!  I am glad they turned out well.

Best,

Syd