Delicious hot cross buns
First, I am very new to bread-baking, so I am bursting with pride to tell someone my little success story! I wanted to make hot cross buns, but wanted to make sure to make a tender rich dough and I wanted lots of fruit in it. So with great trepidation I actually adapted a recipe to fit. Those of you who bake regularly will chuckle at my naivete but I am just so tickled that it worked and not just tolerably well, even. These are actually the best hot cross buns I've ever had.
For the curious, this is what I did. I took Peter Reinhart's white bread dough recipe (variation 2, to be specific) from BBA, and added 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ginger. After the bread was mixed and had undergone the first rise, I slapped my hands to the sides of my head because I realized I'd forgotten to put in the fruit mixture! So I tenderly, lovingly, apologetically, added 1.5 cups of mixed fruit: 1/2 cup each of raisins, chopped dried apricots and chopped candied cherries. Rolled into 16 balls and set to rise again in a pyrex casserole dish, with trepidation. Added an egg wash. Baked at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. Made icing crosses with mix of icing sugar and orange juice.
I plan to make some more tomorrow and I will make a few small changes. And they're so obvious you will laugh. First, I've decided that candied cherries aren't really food - they are plastic. Yes, the hot cross buns were amazing, but I think they would have been even more flavourful and still very pretty with chopped dried cherries instead.
The other thing is that I didn't take the buns out of the Pyrex dish until after they were cool and I think this was a mistake. The middle buns sort of sank down a bit. Still tasted great but the size discrepancy offends my sense of order.
And finally, notes to self: Make a SMALL hole in the icing bag. Small means 1 mm. And make sure the rest of the bag is firmly closed so icing doesn't completely cover your hands. And for goodness' sake, calm yourself and wait until the buns are cool before icing. Now mop all icing globs off the floor. Hot cross buns should be eaten COLD.