The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hot Cross Buns w/ buttermilk

  • Pin It
SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hot Cross Buns w/ buttermilk

For years I have always made Hot Cross Buns for Easter and leaving the cross off enjoy them year round.  This is the first time I have made them with buttermilk.  Using buttermilk in baking is one of my all time favorite ingredients. The flavor was delicious with a wonderful crumb.  Just what I had hoped for and the recipe is very convenient because you can prepare it the night before and bake the buns up fresh in morning!  The recipe is at http://www.cookingbread.com/  I made these changes in the ingredients and also did a mix with a 25 minute rest and then kneaded to just all the ingredients came together and a gluten formation was just beginning.   I added 1/2 tsp. cloves, golden raisins instead of the cranberries, lemon and orange candied peel, bakers sugar, Golden ISYeast, KAAP and adjusting the hydration, the dough was still tacky before shaping.  Next time I will leave off the flour/sugar crosses as we prefer the sugar glazed crosses.  These are now my favorite HCB.


 


                                                            My 15 inch deep dish pizza pan filled with large HCB


 


            


 


                                                      


 


                                                                               


                                        Sylvia 

Comments

wally's picture
wally

Sylvia, and I love the use of the deep dish pizza pan!  Not just for pizza lovers!


Larry

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

It seems I use my pizza pans for everything except pizza's ;o)


Sylvia

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Beautiful looking buns, Sylvia! Just about perfect.


I made some last night using this recipe from Wild Yeast (based on Hamelman's) and was a little disappointed with the result. My crumb was a bit tight and on the dry side. Yours look fluffy and moist, as they should be. Also, I didn't get as much rise.


My instant yeast has been in the fridge about a year now (I bake mostly SD bread, using the dry yeast only for spiking SD-based pizza dough and the occasional dry yeast bread). Although the use-by date is still a couple of months off, I suspect it has lost some of its rising power. Bubbled up alright when I made the poolish, though.


Do you always manage to get such a nice pillowy crumb and rise in your buns?

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I think HCB are actually supposed to have a bit of a tight and drier crumb...so with this recipe I was working towards a little more open and moist crumb.  I really don't care for them to dry out so quickly.  I was very, very, tempted to add some mashed potato and next time I make this recipe I will add the potato.  The cinnamon and sugar in the dough can affect the rising power of the yeast.  I used the Instant Gold Yeast from KAF.  I would have liked even a little spicer taste to these buns.  Handling the dough gently and not adding to much flour...though I added a lot more than called for in the recipe..I used KAAP instead of KABF so the hydration was good for a more open crumb.  I let the rolls fully proof in my oven with a pan of boiled water.


Your yeast should be fine as long as you have had it refrigerated.


Sylvia

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller


I think HCB are actually supposed to have a bit of a tight and drier crumb



I don't think so. The ones we get in Australia - the best of them, that is - are the traditional English-style HCBs, and these have an open pillowy crumb, with a nice strong rise, just as you have achieved! I'd contend that anything tighter or drier is a deviation from the traditional English style. (Of course, there is always variation, even within traditions, so the door is open for disagreement on this point).


Also, I think most recipes are under-spiced. Like you, I'm going to tweak my next batch with spice content substantially higher. Ditto peel. All the commercial outlets have dispensed with peel over here, which is why I determined to bake my own buns this year, and not augment them with offerings from commercial bakeries. To my mind, a hot cross bun without peel is not a hot cross bun at all! And yeah, I admit it - I'm a traditionalist and a hardliner with such things!


Interesting that you used AP flour instead of bakers' flour, Sylvia. I've done that in the past and switched to BF this year in keeping with most of the recipes I looked at, which were from my most trusted sources, like Wild Yeast, foolishpoolish, Ananda (TFL) and Hamelman. I ended up using about 30% wholemeal flour with 70% bakers' flour - think I'll leave out the wholemeal flour next bake and see what difference that makes.


Cheers all, and all the best for the Easter break.


Ross

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I couldn't agree with you more...we have the same taste when it comes to HCB's..maybe it's because I have so many relatives in Australia and Ireland.. : )  My mother used to always pack them up to take on our fishing trips...without the sugar cross..just the flavorful buns!


I love the citrus in the buns, extra spice and raisins...and that's it..!  They are not HCB to me without the citrus peel.  I make my own fresh.  I have a lemon tree and we live  close by to many citrus and groves 'organic'...California!


The King Arthur AP Bread flour we have available here makes wonderful breads and a lot of times can be used in place of their stronger bread flour.  Both make wonderful rolls.


Have a lovely Easter!


Sylvia

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

You make your own peel? Onya Sylvia! We also have a backyard lemon tree and make fantastic preserved Moroccan lemons from it, but it has never occurred to me to make peel! Would you mind sharing your method?


So you're in rural California? I'll bet it's a lovely part of the world. The pastoral dream has me by the...erm, lapels. Just a matter of finding an affordable place. Currently eyeing off Tasmania. 


Right with you on organic. We dug up our lawn and transfroemd the back yard into a mini-organic herb and vege farm about 7 years ago. Just tremendous to know fresh organic veges and herbs are just outside the back door. Makes cooking even more of a joy - and eating! A larger rural block would be better, though. Would love to have some fruit trees, a chicken run, frog pond, etc.


Nice to come across a like-minded person (although there's a growing tribe of us, and the momentum is building...and not before time!).


Cheers
R

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Candied Citrus Peel - these needed to be dried out longer...but were still ok for snacking and decorating some cupcakes.


Peel oranges or lemons about 10 into 1/4 inch strips.  I happen to like the pith and so leave some on the peel.  Or you can use a peeler and just use the skin.


Place into a pan and cover with water.  Boil for about 15 - 20 mins. to get the bitterness out of the peel and make it tender.


Drain, set aside


Boil 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water to the thread stage or 230 degrees F - 108 C on a candy thermometer.  Stir in the peels and cook for about 5 minutes and keep stirring constantly.


Drain peels and lay them on a rack to dry for several hours..at least 12 hrs.


Put about 1/3 cup sugar into a plastic bag and toss to dredge lightly in the sugar.


 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Preserved lemon recipe coming. Rushed ATM, but will get back.

MommaT's picture
MommaT

Hi,


I have used a slightly different method, adapted from two different cookbooks - Joy of Cooking and the Constance Spry cookbook.


In this recipe, ingredients are:


- peel from 2 oranges, cut into strips about 1/4" wide.  (or equivalent amount for lemons or limes...I haven't tried grapefruit yet, but I'm sure it's delicious)


- 1/2 cup sugar


- 1/4 water


PROCEDURE:


Put peel in pan with cold water to cover thoroughly.  Bring just to a boil.  Drain.


Repeat this 3-5 times.  It takes away the bitterness and softens the peel.  (The reason I like this better than the other method is that I find the peel is not quite as soft in the end)


Bring sugar and water to a boil.  


When all the sugar is dissolved, add the peel.


Boil until all the syrup is absorbed.  At the end this gets tricky, as you need to keep stirring to avoid browning or burning.   Avoid making it *too* moist or too dry at this stage.  Too moist and it doesn't keep.  Too dry and the resulting peel was very crispy.  Luckily the ingredients are inexpensive so trial and error is feasible.


Enjoy!


MommaT

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I have way to many lemons and the neighbors oranges are on the ground.  So I'll give your method a try next time I make some candied peels.  I like the peel not to be tooo soft tooo : ) .. I hope to be making some of the Italian LemmonCello soon it sounds so delicious!


Sylvia

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

OK, back at last with promised recipe. Actually, it's a process, not a recipe as such. So...


Preserved Lemons
 
1: Wash a 1L (4-cup) capacity glass jar with a lid (don't use a metal lid, as the salt may cause it to corrode). Dry. Scrub lemons under cold running water. Pat dry. Cut the lemons into quarters lengthways without cutting right through the base.

2: Place 1 heaped tablespoon of sea salt in the centre of 1 lemon. Repeat with salt and remaining lemons, packing the lemons firmly into the jar. Cover with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Seal, label and date.

3: Store the jar in a cool place away from direct sunlight for at least 4 weeks. If the liquid level drops, add more lemon juice to cover the lemons (if the lemons are not submerged in liquid, a harmless white mould may start to appear - but best to avoid by keeping them completely submerged).


4. To use, remove lemons from the jar as required (ie: according to your recipe). Use the back of a knife to remove the pith from the rind, or just hold pith side up under running tap water and scrape it off with your thumb (the flesh and white pith tend to be too salty and bitter). Thinly slice or chop the de-pithed rind as desired. Very powerful flavour - be sparing until you have ascertained how strongly you like the preserved lemon flavour to come through your dishes.


I HIGHLY recommend the Moroccan classic, Chicken With Preserved Lemons, which is just about the tastiest chicken recipe I know - and that's saying something, because as you would probably agree, you can do wondrous things with poultry.


Cheers!
Ross


 


 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I will give this recipe a go..I absolutely love chicken with lemon and garlic! : )

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

These look delicious. I've been rounding up HCB recipes but I think I'll like this one the best. I love anything with buttermilk. Thanks for the post.


weavershouse

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

You and me both...oh do I love baked goodies with buttermilk.  I didn't use a strong bread flour so added more flour till the hydration seemed good.  This is a tacky dough!


Sylvia

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Silvia:


They sure look delicious!  Thanks for sharing.


Yippee

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

and your welcome!


Sylvia

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Those look great,  Sylvia.  I like your approach of substituting the candied peel and of course, buttermilk makes all things better!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

LindyD!  I've never had them without the citrus peel, to me that's one of the best parts.


Happy Easter Holidays!


Sylvia

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

OMG They look so delicious!  I was trying to avoid making these this year but now I wanna...


Al



SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Oh, my!  My husband took a half doz. to work and his x baker friend wanted to take one home to his wife! They raved about them and so did our bachelor neighbor.  I've certainly consumed more than I planned..they are addicting!


Happy Easter Holidays!


Sylvia

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

That's why I tried fighting the urge to make them.  LOL Of course, by 3 this afternoon I couldn't resist any more... caved in and baked a dozen of them.  I used the recipe from your linked and tweaked it to my convenience.  I didn't have any candied peels so I just used fresh orange rind.  No buttermilk but I had some kefir milk, used that instead.  Then I added coarse sugar, butter, an egg, cinnamon, & clove in the dough.  They turned out very good; hubby and little man loved them.  Thanks to you! :-)


Al




inlovewbread's picture
inlovewbread

Hi Sylvia! Those Hot Cross Buns look fabulous! Well done.


I think I will be trying your version today. Last Sunday I made HCB from Hamelman's Bread and took them to a potluck. I spent forever on that recipe and a lot in ingredients and sadly I saw many of them in the trash with one bite out of them (:-( Granted, there were many children there which probably don't care for allspice ). One lady mentioned they tasted like the traditional English version and liked them, but it seems most may not be aware of the "traditional style" (which I think is tighter crumb and drier) and would prefer a fluffier bun. I think the sugared cross is the way to go too- a better crowd pleaser. And you can't beat buttermilk!


Anyway, thanks for the inspiration to try another batch! 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Definately with you on the sugar cross.  I put the piped sugar right over the baked on crosses! I don't care for the baked on ones at all, though they do look pretty..but I don't care for the taste or texture.


Happy Easter Holidays,


Sylvia