Hot Cross Buns Help: how to get shop-bought squidgy-ness
I'm brand new here so please forgive me if this is a well-covered topic. I went through five or so search pages and hadn't found anything that fitted my query.
I've made hot cross buns for years and have always been ambivalent about the results. They always have a firm dome, relatively dry crumb and harden pretty quickly. They also almost always use an apricot jam glaze, which renders them nigh on untouchable.
They never, ever, ever have that dense squidgy-ness that you get from UK supermarket versions (perhaps abroad too, but my HCB research hasn't gone international...yet). I love that dense squidge. I probably shouldn't, it's probably terrible bread, it probably makes me a terrible baker, but recreating it has become a decade long obsession.
I thought I'd found the answer in tangzhong, but tried that today and they still have a drier crumb and a crust. I'm starting to consider mochi flour as a possibility but this seems unlikely to be in common use in the UK.
From what I can tell, supermarket HCBs don't maintain a dome shape - they seem to collapse in on themselves. I also once bought a pack from Tescos only to discover the dough was still raw inside, all of which makes me think they're cooked remarkably quickly and maybe deflate like a cake.
The ingredients on packs contain added emulsifiers and acids – I don't know if these would really contribute to a squidgy dough or are simply there to long-life them. I've never used them and would like to avoid them if possible. The supermarket also contains a lot more oil, in place of the butter more often seen in homemade. Enough to make a difference?
Turns out I'm not alone. Love her or hate her, Mary Berry even said mid-bun bake that supermarket HCBs were always better than homemade.
Is there a way to marry the two, online experts? Can anyone offer advice on changing ingredients, method or cook time?