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Reinhart's Hot Cross Buns from ABED - anyone made them?

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andrew_cookbooker's picture
andrew_cookbooker

Reinhart's Hot Cross Buns from ABED - anyone made them?

I'm going to bake a batch of hot cross buns from Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day and I'm wondering if anyone's made them, or could provide an opinion. They use his Panettone dough and sourdough starter.


What's confusing me in his directions is that if you use the panettone dough to make panettone, you're supposed to let them rise for 12 hours in their molds. For the hot cross bun variation, it seems that once you've mixed the dough with the starter and shaped the buns you only let them rise for an hour. Could this be right? I know that panettone are characterized by their long rise, and hot cross buns less so, but wanted to check before using all those eggs and butter to make small rocks...

carluke's picture
carluke

HI,
I made them yesterday and had the same thought as you. I must say they didn't rise well (hardly at all) and while they taste good, I wonder if I didn't follow the recipe correctly (btw, I think there is a typo in the actual hot cross bun part of the recipe, as it calls for 75 g of allspice!).
Let me know if you try it, and if you have any better success.

andrew_cookbooker's picture
andrew_cookbooker

Thanks for the reply, carluke - I have the starter rising right now, but it won't be finished until the evening, so I'll refrigerate and try a bake tomorrow. I think I will experiment with the dough and do half of them as Peter suggests, with the 1 hour or so rise, and the other half I'll let proof for longer until they look like they'll amount to something, and I can compare. I'll report back.


I found some photos of them here: http://www.breadtechnique.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=20&pos=3  Do these look similar to how yours turned out?

carluke's picture
carluke

Hi Andrew,
Yes, I suppose my hot cross buns look like the photo. I would love to be able to provide you with a photo of my own but I'm afraid we are still in dial-up country here, so photos are just not a possibility!
Look forward to hearing of your success tomorrow.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi


I don't know Reinhart's formula, as I haven't looked at his new book yet.   However, I have posted on Hot Cross Buns in my blog, and offer these up as a winning alternative.   They utilise a ferment to kick in yeast activity in adversity.   I suspect that your chosen recipe does not take into account that yeast does not like spice, fruit, high sugar, or fat, or egg...and all of these are found in abundance in a good Hot Cross Bun formula.   Here's the link: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15382/ananda039s-2nd-blog-hot-cross-buns


The dough is very soft, and you need to be using a good strong flour to make it work.   The formula calls for fresh yeast, but dried will work too.   You need one third the amount for instant dried yeast.   And it will probably take up to an hour for the ferment to work rather than 30 minutes with the fresh yeast.


Hope this is of use?


Best wishes


Andy

andrew_cookbooker's picture
andrew_cookbooker

Okay, here are my results from the grand Hot Cross Buns experiment. I mixed everything up exactly as written in the book. I used a room-temperature starter, refrigerated overnight. In the morning I mixed up the full dough following Peter's Panettone recipe. I shaped it into 2 oz balls and let them rest for one hour at room temperature (about 70 F). There was no perceptible rise before baking. However, when baked, they did rise up a little. Here's the result.



2 hours


I let another tray of buns rest for a further hour and baked them next. They had very little discernible rise before baking - maybe a few percent. They baked up quite nicely, and may have been a tiny bit more fluffy than the first batch, but if so, only a tiny bit. This picture makes it look higher, but the crumb was very similar.




Finally, I let the third tray rest for 6 hours total. There was still very little activity. The only difference I noted was that they cooked faster and browned more noticeably than the previous batch. There was no change in the size or the crumb.


Conclusion


One hour is perfectly fine. Two hours seemed marginally better, but anything more than this had no impact on the development of the buns. These are not 'real' hot cross buns, at least compared to the ones I've had from commercial bakeries, which are much more like spiced bread with fruit. Using the highly enriched panettone dough makes them more like scones - substantial but not heavy in texture. I like them quite a lot, actually. I used a mixture of currants, raisins and chopped dried apricot for the fruit, and a simple fondant glaze for the cross. I could see making them again sometime, though considering the work required, only for special occasions!