Friday, April 29, 2011

The Lost Symbols - Hot Cross(??) Buns for FFTO

I've been neglecting my blog. But both me and my laptop are back on our feet and will be more attentive.
This month's FFTO challenge, hosted by Sarah of Simply Cooked, was baking Hot Cross Buns, all in the spirit of Easter. Most of us know the popular rhyme with the same name, but I really didn't know that this sweet-spicy bread was associated with Easter and that's why it had a cross.
I made the bread as soon as the challenge was posted and just couldn't not tweak it. I made it eggless for one,  substituted half the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and didn't add any raisins or candied citrus peels (not too fond of raisins in my bread).
Oh! And the crosses I piped on the buns disappeared......

Sarah's recipe for Hot Cross Buns:

Flour: 3 1/2 - 4 cup (440 - 500 g)
Milk: 3/4 cup (190 ml)
Water: 1/2 cup (125 ml)
Yeast: 1 package (2 1/2 t)
Sugar: 1 Tbsp
Sugar: 1/4 cup (65 g)
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Butter: 1/4 cup (55 g), melted
Allspice: 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon: 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg: 1/4 tsp
Eggs: 2
Currants: 2/3 cup (100 g)
Diced Citron: 1/4 cup (40 g)

egg glaze:
1 egg

lemon glaze:
Sugar: 1 cup; powdered
Lemon zest: 1 tsp 
Milk: 1 1/2 Tbsp

"In a mixer bowl, combine 1 c (125 g) flour, milk, water, yeast, and 1 T sugar. Beat well. Set in a warm place until frothy. melt butter; cool. To the yeast sponge, add remaining sugar, salt, melted butter and spices; beat in eggs, one at a time. Add 1 c (125 g) flour and beat 5 minutes with electric mixer. Gradually add remaining flour, currants, and citron. Turn out onto floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (8 - 10 minutes). Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top of dough. Cover with kitchen towel and set in warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead lightly for 2 minutes. Divide dough into 24 equal parts and shape into buns. Place well apart on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until almost doubled in size (about 30 minutes).

Make a cross (X) on each bun with a razor blade or sharp knife. Brush with egg yolk beaten with 1 T water. Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 15-20 minutes or until golden in colour. Cool on wire rack.

Make the glaze by mising the ingredients. Drizzle over buns in the cross design.

Some English recipes add strips of pastry dough over the cross before baking, instead of the icing." 

My tweaks:
Flour: 2 cups All purpose flour and 2 cups whole wheat flour
Flaxseed meal: 1tbsp in 3 tbsp of hot water (egg replacer)
Spices: 1/tsp each of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, pepper
Sugar: 1/3 cup
While kneading I went by feel, and used about 1 1/4  cup of milk and 1/4 (+) of water to get an elastic but slightly sticky dough.
I didn't use currants/ raisins/ citron.
Omitted the lemon in the glaze.
Also, I piped pastry strips (1 Tbsp Cornstarch + 2 Tbsp APF + water = piping consistency)to make the crosses.
All done, and I set the buns off to bake and kept peeking to check for browning. Everything was going fine, but when the timer struck, pulled the baking tray and the crosses were as brown as my crust :(
I added the glaze mournfully.....I went the pastry strip route since the pictIures I;d seen were soooooooo nice.

I waited till it cooled down a bit and took a bite.....yummy in the tummy! (That's what my daughter says to something she likes!!)

Till I took that bite, I wasn't really sure how it would taste. It tasted good :D


  1. Fantastic. I'm glad you adapted the recipe to be something you like; that's what's great about FFTO. I like whole wheat baking, too, and I adapted my hot cross buns to be fully whole wheat. Thanks a lot for taking part in the challenge!

  2. I'm going to try wholewheat flour next time too. I love how different your buns look - although I wouldn't be without the dried fruit personally....each to their own though.