The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hot Cross Buns 2014

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rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Hot Cross Buns 2014

 

 

 

 

After years of trying multiple recipes and developing my SD and yeasted hot cross buns, I can now state that the latter wins. As good as the SD ones are, this yeasted baby is as close to my ideal bun as I've tasted. But I've done enough banging on about my hot cross bun quest in previous years. This year, I'll let the pics do the work (NB: pics are of yeasted buns only). Masochists can check out my previous posts on The Quest as follows:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/keyword/sourdough-vs-yeasted-hot-cross-buns

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/28161/years-hot-cross-buns-one-lot-sd-one-yeasted

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/32908/sd-vs-yeasted-hot-cross-buns-last-new-winnerand-its-veganfriendly

Cheers all!
Ross

 

Comments

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

rossnroller: These look so delicious. I assume there is some cinnamon in there.  I will take your word for it that the yeasted ones are the best.  Love the crosses.  Congratulations,  Phyllis

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Spice mix is cinnamon, allspice, ginger powder, fresh ground cardamom from green pods, and fresh ground nutmeg.

Cheers!
Ross

Syd's picture
Syd

Ross,

Haven't seen you around these parts for a while.:)  Really excellent looking HCB.  How did you do the cross?  It almost looks like you rolled out a thin sheet of dough and cut it into strips which you laid across the buns.  They look full of fruit and beautifully soft.  Did you make your own spice mix.

Nice baking,

Syd

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I've been logging in regularly for a read, but haven't posted much in recent months, it's true. Just lost the motivation to photograph breads and write posts. Still baking as much as ever, though.

Yep, always make my own spice mix. Apart from fresh ground spices (cardamom and nutmeg in this case) having so much more flavour, I like to experiment with proportions of ingredients.

Spot on re the crosses. I bake batches of only 9 buns at a time, and can't justify making a pipe-able quantity of cross mix, so I roll the cross paste out thin on a floured bench and cut strips with a dough scraper, then lay them on the buns and brush them over with milk, smoothing with fingers when necessary. With practice over the years I've gotten quite fast, but there's no doubt pro bakers would guffaw at this painstaking method (then again, if I may be so bold, I have not tasted any commercial HCBs that come close to these ones!). And as well as being pragmatic in my domestic context, I like the results aesthetically doing the crosses this way.

Cheers!
Ross

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Lovely, lofty buns, Ross! They must be a treat with all the spice and dried fruits. 

Khalid

 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Yeah, I'm very pleased with these ones. Will probably keep trying various tweaks, but I think this is about as far as I can push it.

Cheers!
Ross

rebeccameachin's picture
rebeccameachin

They look super! I struggle to get my hot cross buns fluffy enough. What's your secret!?

Bec :)

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I think the fluffiness is down to 3 main factors. In no particular order:

1. This recipe is a culmination of years of development, and I think hits the spot for hydration, process, and ingredient proportion - at least in terms of my idea of the ideal HCB.

2. Flour is important. I use a lovely organic macrobiotic flour that is relatively low in protein for a bakers flour (Eden Valley bakers flour, from the Western Australian wheatbelt), and a premium quality organic wholemeal.

3. The rise you see is partly due to fitting the buns into the right sized baking pan, so they're packed in together and have nowhere to go during the bake but UP!

Hope that helps.

Cheers
Ross

rebeccameachin's picture
rebeccameachin

Thanks for the info...I need some right size pans! :) 

Bec

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and use your recipe for my starting point for them.  I use a YW white dough for the crosses but just make a rope out of it and lay them on top.  Glad you posted HC buns again a this year.  it is like a tradition and yours are always so soft , sheddable and photogenic  I know they are taasty!

Happy Easter Baking  to you and yours.

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I take it you use my sourdough HCB recipe as the starting point for your buns? This one I use is an adaption of that, using a preferment with dry yeast, and a small amount of dry yeast added at the dough mixing stage.

My crosses aren't made of dough, BTW. They're a paste of flour, water and cinnamon sugar, and meld into the buns when eating. Dunno about you, but I don't like crosses that are chewy or ostentatiously present in the eating. I'm thinking yours would be fine, since they're made of dough and would therefore just be part of the bun.

Hope you and yours had a pleasant and peaceful Easter too.

Cheers
Ross

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

version that we use.  A great recipe.  I'm going to add some sugar to my crosses like you do from now on to see of they go flatter and meld into the buns like yours.  Nice tip.

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Also, try brushing the crosses with milk, then smoothing them flat with your finger. That's probably the most effective "melding" strategy I use. (I can't help imagining pro bakers reading this and sniggering at these labour-intensive measures - still, one of the luxuries we enjoy as home bakers is to indulge some time in detailed commercially unjustifiable finessing!).

Cheers!
Ross

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

I  love the looks of your cross and glazing, so appealing!  Sounds like a lot of work went into perfecting these, so glad you posted.  

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Much appreciated. And yeah, this has been a long project, and will probably be ongoing into the indefinite future, but when you do it cos you want to and not out of obligation or necessity, it's more fun than work. As I have no doubt is also your experience with your fine baking.

Cheers!
Ross