The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Not quite Hot Cross Buns!

Caro_'s picture
March 16, 2007 - 2:32am -- Caro_

This is the first time I"ve attempted to put a photo of my baking on a website. In fact it's the first time I've taken a photo of my bread at all. It's not a great picture, being taken with my mobile phone but it has a little story with it.

I saw on the calendar that Easter was not too far away and that it was time to start thinking about making Hot Cross Buns. so I decided to make some on the spot. Then I realized i didn't have the right ingredients - the right flour or the right spices but went ahead anyway with what I had. I was also in a hurry, because I had a long day's work ahead, but wanted some sustenance to keep me going, so what better than some sweet, homemade buns. I started putting ingredients into a bowl, not measuring anything except by eye. Usually I at least roughly measure the yeast and liquid, but I was thinking about the fairly recent post by browndog5 about strict measurement and recipes, and i said, like many others, that I just did it by eye and hand, so I thought I would do it all like this. I also threw in a large glollop of starter, not usually Hot Cross bun ingredient, as I was using a combo of plain bleached flour from the supermarket and, the other extreme, an unusual organic unbleached flour called Egyptian Gold, from one of those ancient Egyptian wheat types, and the starter was hopefully going to give a bit more structure and flavour to this unknown mix. The Egyptian Gold I've only used in the past for pizzas, being a rather coarse, nutty flour but didn't have anything else around, so thought I'd experiment. I threw in a teaspoon each of coriander, anise and cinnamon, some brown sugar and a bit of butter, set it t o rise and hoped for the best.

Well, you can see they rose really well, but the flavour was amazing! One of the best I'd tasted for a long time. But they were definitely not traditional Hot Cross Buns! For one thing, I couldn't taste any spice but the anise, and there was this dark nutty flavour I can only attribute to the Egyptian Gold, but the buns were light and quite fluffy, not my usual experience with this flour. So a great success, all were eaten quite quickly as we kept coming back for more. but I'll never be able to reproduce the same bun again!


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