This year I managed to bake hot cross buns in time for Easter. Heh-heh.
Since I started bread making, I have discovered the tangzhong method works well to keep bread moist and soft for days. Tangzhong method involves cooking a mixture of flour with water or milk to 65 degrees C. This increases the moisture in the bread and in turns keeps the bread soft.
This recipe is from Christine’s Recipes and I used this because of the tangzhong. There are many recipes on the net for hot cross buns but not many use tangzhong. Though the kneading is a hassle when using tangzhong, particularly if you use manual kneading, the end results are worth the effort. Due to the increase in water, the dough is extremely sticky and not easy to manage.
Hot cross buns (adapted from Christine’s Recipes)
- 25 grams bread flour
- 125 grams water or milk (I used whey, which I had from making ricotta cheese)
- 350 grams bread flour
- 35 grams caster sugar
- 5 grams salt
- 56 grams whisked egg
- 7 grams milk powder, optional (I omitted)
- 6 grams instant yeast
- 125 ml milk (I used 110 ml heavy whipping cream, 35% fat)
- 120 grams tangzhong
- 30 grams butter (I omitted due to the addition of heavy whipping cream)
- 100 grams sultanas (I soaked these in juice from 1 orange for an hour)
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice, or to taste (I used 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cardamom powder)
- 30-40 grams whey
- 67 grams all-purpose flour
- 30 grams caster sugar
- 3 tbsp whey
1/2 a beaten egg for egg wash
- Mix all the ingredients for bread, except for raisins, and knead until elastic. This took me about 40 minutes by hand kneading. The dough will be very sticky at first but as you work on it, it will get less sticky. Even on passing window-pane stage, it is still stickier than normal dough. So be aware and do not over-knead.
- Place the dough in an lightly oiled bowl and let proof for an hour, until double in size.
- Drop the dough from a height of at least 30 cm onto your work counter. This will deflate the gas from the dough. Knead for a minute.
- Weigh the dough and divide equally into 12 pieces. Mine were 68 grams per piece.
- Roll and shape the dough, place on a non-stick parchment paper on a pan. Cover with cling wrap and allow to proof for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180 C.
- Mix all the ingredients for the flour paste until well combined. Scoop into a disposable piping bag.
- Brush egg wash over buns. Snip off the corner of the disposable piping bag and pipe crosses on the buns.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
Delicious. Even though I up the spices, I feel the fragrance is still quite subtle. I love the softness of the bread and the sweetness of the sultanas. The flour paste makes for a different crunchy texture, when I ate the bun while still warm from the oven.
Buns were still soft the next day, though not as soft as when warm. Reviews from friends who ate these are good! All were snapped up and gobbled so I have no idea if it would still be soft on the day after next.