The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

still hot baking

yozzause's picture

still hot baking

Another day with 40 degree C and another opportunity to use the restaurant bakery

Again i used coopers dark ale 1.5 litres , 1.5kg of sour dough starter, 5 kgs bakers flour, 75 grams dry yeast, 100 grams of butter, 12 grams bread improver (dobrim), 100  grams of cooking salt, 1.5 litres water.

i mixed the dark ale sour dough starter and 1 kg of flour into nice sponge batter leaving for an hour, then mix all other ingrediants and allow for bulk fermentation in this case 1 hour and fifteen minutes a good tripling of volume.

35 patrons booked into the restuarant so scale up for 70 dinner rolls @ 50g , 8 pieces @ 500g the rest as 250g.  

  mould the rolls put into proover, mould the bread put into the proover, mould the sticks put in the proover. bring out the rolls wash with boiled cornflour starch paste seed and cut , back in the proover.

same treatment for the rest. bring out the rolls and put into the oven , turn off proover .

last week the oven was set a bit cool so this time moved the dial a bit higher  achieved the desired result more crust colour

put in the sticks and bake off finally the 2 x trays of loaves.

The students had decorated a table in the middle of the restaurant and found room to display some of the DARK ALE WITH SOUR DOUGH STARTER BREAD.

Just got to decide on what we might try next week.

i cant resist posting a few shots of the QUEEN MARY 2 as she entered Fremantle harbour this morning just after 6.00 am

enjoy regards Yozza


OldWoodenSpoon's picture

that is one big ship!  I might even get up early to see her come into harbor.  What a treat.

Was the dark ale separate from your sourdough starter in your formula for the dough, or did you use the ale to make the starter?  It sound intriguing.  What kind of flavor do you get from the bread?

Thanks for sharing Yozzause!

yozzause's picture


I used the dark ale in the sponge with the sour dough starter that i fed up to the larger quantity knowing that i was going to be able to use it in the dough, combined with the 1 kg of flour gave a good batter consistency and after the hour showed some good activity from the starter.

As for flovour it has that yum factor where you know that you want another slice it also has great keeping quality it still has a soft velvety crumb 2 days later and makes great toast and breadcrumbs.

Fortunately the Dark Ale is set aside for me because it is close to code from the training restaurants bar area and i do hate waste so i am happy to use it, and of course all the alcohol is driven off in the baking process.

There were a lot of people that got out of bed to see QM2 arrive but a whole lot more to see her leave 11 hours later. 

copyu's picture

OWS said: "...that is one big ship!"

I was curious, so I checked the displacement—148,528 tons. It WAS, until recently, the largest of its class.

Nice beer and great bread aboard, too! [Cooper's! Mmmmm! Ale, Pale Ale, Stout...]



RobynNZ's picture

Hi Yozza

You clearly have a good time working with the students. Sounds like a great set up for you, chipping in when it suits you, and getting to enjoy your baking passion.  

I live on an island off Auckland and watched the Queen Mary 2 just ten days ago. We see a lot of cruise ships here but QM2 is so much bigger than anything else. She made it to Freemantle quickly! (A rower arrived in NZ from Australia today, first person to ever accomplish that, it took him 54 days). Are you out at Freemantle or did you make a special trip out there to see her?

Hope autumn reaches you soon. This last week I've had to change my proofing spot, from that I'd been using over the summer.

Cheers, Robyn

yozzause's picture

Hi Robyn

Yes i think i am quite lucky having the well equipped bakery to be able to indulge my passion from time to time.

I am being booked for hot cross bun production on thurday April the 1st, its a class of SAL students (student Appreticeship Link) they are high school kids that are interested in food trades and come to us for 1 day a week and go to a host employer 1 day a week the rest of the time is normal high school. It will be fun as the are pretty green and we set up the kitchen to do a production run mixing batches of buns based on 5kg flour mixes. i think we made 100 dozen hot cross buns last year by the end of the day they were all quite good and the hand skills were coming on pretty well. The programme co-ordinator called in last year and was blown away at the sight of the group working to gether in a production like manner and thought the product was the best he had ever tasted.

I hope to get some pictures this year and will post them here.

These cruise liners dont hang about she was in Adelaide before she arrived here and most likely Sydney after NZ. certainly beats rowing across, i saw the guy on tv arriving there in quite a big surf he was lucky not to have missed NZ altogether. 

     Robyn if you are right about autumn i will be pleased, we are all a bit weary from the constant hot days even though it has been cooler this week it has been very humid too. The rest of Australia has been getting plenty of rain but next to nothing here. it must be getting close to 100 days now with only .2of one millimeter in the gauge. There are a good half dozen or so Aussie sayings for how dry its been  and now i know just how dry that is. 

RobynNZ's picture

Hi Yozza

I've just started experimenting with hot cross bun formula, I've chosen Andy's (Ananda) recipe and FoolishPoolish's sourdough one both on TFL, and Hamelman's one and the one that Susan (WildYeast) adapted from Hamelman's, also some NZ ones and the ones I usually make. I'm planning to use the results of my trials to come up with a new formula that suits my palate. My friends haven't said no thanks to the spoils. But I can't imagine working with youngsters to make 100 dozen! They'll remember that experience every Easter for the rest of their lives. Look forward to the photos.

No rain here either, though not as bad as you. I'm on tank water, my tank is very low and I'm being very conservative with water usage.  We occasionally see a shower in the distance travelling along the mainland coast, or out on the sea, but not here.

Cheers, Robyn

yozzause's picture

Hi ROBYN my recipe is a tried and tested one it comes from my days as an apprentice over 40 years ago I had better sort it out ready for Easter I will post it here tomorrow or the next day.  I see on the news our American cousins are coping a bit of rain at the moment. I was pulling Shiao-pings leg about Queensland being the state of high hydration when  Queensland was getting all the rain a few weeks ago. All the states have quirky little sayings on their number plates etc WA was the state of Excitement for a while currently the Golden state and before that the Home of the Americas cup( well for 4 years anyway.) 

I may do a dummy run of hot cross buns on  thursday so you can get to see the buns before Easter.

i am able to add to the last comment through edit function so here goes


FLOUR                   5000g             100%     (1% =50g )            

BUTTER                    400g                8%

SALT                         50g                1%

SUGAR                     800g                16%

bread improver (opt)  25g                 .5% 

MIXED SPICE             50g                 1%

MILK POWDER F/C    125g              2.5%

DRY YEAST            175g              3.5%

WATER     2365 TO 2500             47 TO 50%

EGGS      5 X 50g+ 250g                5%

DRY FRUIT           800g                  16%

MIXED PEEL         100g                     2%

liquid bun spice  (dash)

total weight 10275 buns scaled @70g  = 146 so close enough to 12 doz

this formula easily breaks down to 1 kg divide by 5 or 1/2 kilo divide by 10


Dry mix all dry ingedients

add butter eggs and water, start of with the lesser amount and add if need be

fold in fruit and dash of bunspice when dough has mixed 

ball up and place in vessel large enough to allow full proof

when dividing,  to speed things up weigh pieces at 540 gram roll out into sausage shape cut in half and half again and half again  8 @ 70g much quicker than weighing individually. as you are handing up the buns you should be able to pick any variation in either hand and do a quick pinch rectification.

place in large plastic bag or any other improvised prover,  at 3/4 proof is the time to apply crosses with a piping bag. Allow full proof handle gently, bake at 180 - 190 aprox 20 minutes.

Apply a sugar wash to buns immediatly when taken from the wash is basicly sugar with enough water and a dash of lemon to enable you to dissolve over a hot stove, if you prefer your buns shiney without the stickyness use some gelatine in the wash mix. the cross mix is s/r flour a little oil and water mixed to a consistency for easy piping.  good luck and good eating. 

 regards Yozza

RobynNZ's picture

Thanks very much Yozza. I'm enjoying experimenting.  Today I have Foolish Poolish's sourdough version underway. Yours will be next. Tonight there was a Baker's Delight advert on TV, for their hot cross buns with the line, 'even softer' - that doesn't appeal to me. My favourite commercial ones are made by a company specialising in Italian breads, I suspect they incorporate sourdough, the buns are not soft, they are 'toothy'. I've also ordered a dozen from the bakery which won the hot cross bun contest here this year,as I'm interested to see what the professionals consider to be a good product. 

 I see your formula includes some liquid bun spice, I guess that's a product for commercial bakeries, does it also have a colouring effect?  My father used to make up a caramel liquid as a dye for hot cross buns, but I've never done that. I do find a 'spicy' colour more appealing than pale buns. I've always used brown sugar to help provide some colour. And my spice selection is not just for flavour but colour too. Still it has been interesting making up the formula I have been trying and discovering the various flavour profiles, aroma, mouth feel etc.

Cheers, Robyn


yozzause's picture

Hi Robyn will be good to see some photo comparisons of all these different HCB's

the bun spice liquid is quite a strong clear liquid  just a little is used it just seems to add to that spicey aroma. We use to use a milk choclatey cououred one when i was an apprentice. I should imagine a good tot of dark rum wouldn't go astray and i might try that in a batch of the buns too.

regards Yozza 

RobynNZ's picture

Hi Yozza

The hot cross buns I have made today from the formula you posted turned out very well indeed. They have the taste and the texture I would expect from a really good local bakery making their own hot cross buns. The customers at the school's restaurant next week will enjoy them I'm sure. Thank you very much for sharing your formula.

The high yeast % and the low hydration had me wondering how they'd be. I did use the full amount of water and wondered if I shouldn't add more, but didn't. Didn't get the rum bottle out either (no bread improver or liquid bun spice either). Working by hand, I left the dough in the bowl, kneading briefly at 10 min intervals over half an hour, the dough was firm but not dry. I added the dried fruit at the end using a stretch and fold on the bench. 25°C bulk fermentation in hot water cupboard, checked after 30 min and then after 45min (at this point the total time elapsed since mixing commenced, 1hour 15 min) and consider that I went a few minutes over. Scaled, shaped - i'd made up a 1/10 mix, total dough weight just over a 1kg so made 16 buns, easy to cut half, quarter, eight, 16, adjusted weight of odd men out to about 65 grams.  Closed all the windows/doors to avoid drafts and let the buns proof in the kitchen area (at 25°C) on the tray covered with plastic, so that I could keep an eye on them as I was very worried they'd over-proof. Used my piping mix but swopped the butter I usually use (and rub in ) for your oil idea, 60g flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp oil, about 60ml water. Worked a charm.  They went in the oven 2 hours 15 min after first mix. 20 minutes in my oven, middle rack, at 185°C did the trick. 

These would be great to make up on Good Friday morning.

I made the sourdough version FoolishPoolish shared,

and was able to confirm that the texture achieved with the levain is what I'm trying to replicate. I didn't have any ground cardamon and ground some cardamon seeds to use. I found the cardamon overwhelming in the finished buns, guess I prefer the more familiar cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg, clove combo that I'm used to, but it might have been the fact they were freshly ground, perhaps I should have used less. The cross mix includes icing sugar, I wasn't keen on the sweetness and the crosses baked with a kind of lacey effect. I'll be sticking with my usual mix but with oil. The glaze was much sweeter than I'm used to (like you I use a simple syrup) and the rosewater was overpowering for me. I did consider 1Tbsp to be an awful lot of rosewater, but generally try and stick to the formula the first time I make something. I really liked the buns (my first experience using a levain with an enriched dough) and think if I adapt the spices, glaze and piping mix to what I'm more familiar with, they'll suit me. 

Next up Wild Yeast's version of Hamelman's and then the original of Hamelman's.

I must apologise, my camera died and I'm not rushing to replace it. I realise that this means less than satisfactory participation on TFL.

Thanks once again for sharing your formula.

Regards, Robyn

yozzause's picture

Well done Robyn

I must admire the enthusiasm of the TFL crowd they say they are going to try something and VOILA there it is next time you visit the page.

I am pleased the HCB,s turned out well. the lunch customers usually get a small half size 35 g bun as a treat with coffee after their meal or to take home if they are full which is usually the case, the rest get snaffled up between staff and students. the trick is to get in quick or miss out. I believe the kitchen is only available to lunch time this year so there will be less buns to go round, i am going to start at 6 to get things underway. the bakery will probably be free after lunch but its a case of  if you know you are going to have 10 lashes of the rotan and you get a choice of the rotan you dont really want to pick the biggest one do you. So perhaps 6 to 12 might be long enough, perhaps we will put the last batch of buns on the trays that will fit into the bakery oven to give them time to clean up the class room for the next lot of students.