Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hot Cross Buns

So apparently, hot cross buns are an Easter tradition. Who knew? Certainly not I, heathen than I am. ;) All I knew of hot cross buns were from the nursery rhyme. I might have eaten one at some point some years back, but if I did, it was obviously forgettable. But I've seen several recipes for them lately -- probably because it was just Easter -- and it made me want to eat them. Which meant I'd have to make them. But before I could do that, I had to decide if I was going to try to make a sourdough version from my starter ... which I decided against, both because it was going to be more trouble than it was worth (in my humble opinion), and because the sourdough might flavor it in a way that would detract from the final product.

I ended up using two recipes to make these, one for the dough and another for the crosses. I also went my own way when it came to the fruit used in the dough. For the dough, I used this recipe from Wild Yeast. I used active dry yeast rather than instant yeast, but it worked just fine (from what I understand of the difference in the two, instant should work faster, but at all the specified times my dough expanded exactly the amount it should have), possibly because I used my proofing box. For the fruit I used golden raisins and chopped dried mango from Trader Joe's. For the crosses, I used the one from this recipe, which uses a sourdough starter for its dough. The reason I did this was because I liked how the crosses looked in their final product, and because I wanted them to be a bit sweet (which the powdered sugar provided). I also used the method of having the buns touch one another in a baking pan, rather than be spread apart individually. The buns came out beautifully!

When they first came out of the oven, I wanted to wait until they were cool to pull them apart, as I wanted them to be aesthetically pleasing ... but then I thought, "Wait a minute! These are supposed to be hot cross buns." I wanted to eat them as you're "supposed" to, so I pulled them apart while hot, which did make them pull apart a bit messily, and they were so soft that some of them got smooshed, but all in all it didn't go too badly. And they were delicious eaten hot, so there's that.

And now for the pictorial...

Here the final dough has gone through its first rise with folds at 30 minutes.

These have been individually shaped into balls then flattened, and placed in a parchment-lined glass baking pan, evenly spaced apart:

After an hour, they've poofed out nicely and are now snuggling next to one another comfortably, like old buddies:

Here they are with the crosses piped on top (using a plastic baggie with a small hole cut in one corner):

Right out of the oven, after the glaze has been applied on top. Since I used a glass baking dish I lowered the temperatures suggested in the recipe by 25°F:

Close up of the crosses:

A lone hot cross bun, awaiting its fate:

A shot of the interior -- so soft and warm and filled with light spices and hints of sugar (but not too sweet):

Submitted to YeastSpotting.


Anonymous said...

Simply beautiful!

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Really beautiful! Mango sounds great in these.

Madam Chow said...

These are just beautiful, and I like how you combined the two recipes. I, too, like the crosses to be slightly sweet. Great job.

Ramya Kiran said...