I joined a new baking group, the Mellow Bakers created by Yumarama Paul and as the name suggests, the baking will be at a more relaxed pace which is just perfect. We will be baking breads from BREAD by Jeffrey Hamelman.
The first bread chosen for the group is Traditional English Hot Cross Buns. Hard to believe but I have never baked nor eaten a hot cross bun, traditional or otherwise. For real.
The recipe is simple and straightforward. Assemble all the ingredients, mix, let rise, shape, bake, and in less than 4 hours you will enjoy munching on delicious, soft, and slightly sweet hot buns studded with currants. The only thing I had a teensy bit problem with was piping the paste on top of the unbaked buns. The paste, made with a combination of flour, oil, and water has a slight slimy consistency and the ends are difficult to break off. It creates a curly tail and sticks to everything making the tips of the crosses untidy. I practiced first on a plate as there was a lot of paste to spare, which I already halved BTW, but as the photo of the baked buns shows, the lines are crooked and the thickness is not uniform. I had to smooth out the curly ends with slightly wet fingertips. It's not a big deal really but next time I'll omit the oil and just mix flour and water until the paste is pipeable. Although I like the syrup for added sweetness, it made everything sticky. I was constantly washing my hands while taking photos and also while eating. I remedied the sticky mess by putting the bun in a 325° F oven to dry out the syrup resulting in a sugar coating that is oh so good. I will surely make these again but with these minor changes; the recipe is a keeper.
I used cute tiny currants and candied lemon peels
practice did not make perfect crosses
soft, sweet, fruity, citrusy, and yummy
Come join and bake with us. Click on the Mellow Baker link above or on the left side bar logo. You can view a recipe based on Hamelman's here.