Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hot Cross Buns

On Easter Sunday, the kids and I made hot cross buns.

This was only the second time that I had made them.

Seven and a half years ago, when my son was just 2 weeks old, I set to work to make my first ever batch of hot cross buns. I made two big mistakes:

(1) I mixed two recipes together (you know how I like to do that), but this is not always such a good idea with baking and yeast cookery.

(2) I set the timer, asked my husband to watch the buns in the oven and went for a rest (read: deep, deep sleep)

I woke to the smell of burning buns and to find my husband out in our driveway washing the car, oblivious to my hot cross buns. He hadn't heard the timer.

This time I had a basic recipe torn from a thrifted Family Circle magazine. I thought that this would be a no fail, after all, it's Family Circle. But they didn't turn out quiet how I wanted. Despite having lots of fun making them, they were a bit too dry. I have a few theories as to why:

(1) The recipe said to use bread flour. I didn't have bread flour and I used tipo oo flour. I didn't think that this was such a good idea at the time, I wondered if it would make a harder bun? But I didn't want to drive to the shops either. I found a recipe on line that had used tipo oo flour, so I went with it. I don't think that it was such a good idea.

(2) I thought that the recipe used too much yeast. I wondered if this was a misprint? Again, back to Google and I found that the quantity should be right. I have since read that too much yeast can cause dry bread that will go stale quicker.

(3) My oven was maybe too hot. Baking in my oven has always been a bit hit and miss. It is a very hot oven (fan forced) and I find that I must reduce the temperature by 20 degrees when I am baking. I'm not sure that I did that this time. It was a little crazy around baking time, family and friends coming and going. I'm not sure I paid the proper attention to my buns.

I am very new to yeast cookery, if you have any ideas on why my buns were a little dry, I would love to hear them.

Next time I think I will try my cousin's recipe. I have tasted her hot cross buns and they were delicious. I had forgotten that she had posted her recipe on her blog last year. I know that her advice would be: "You should have used my recipe". And as always, she would have been right.

However all was not lost. Our hot cross buns this year were homemade with love, they contained no nasty preservatives or additives

......and have they tasted great toasted, with homemade strawberry jam.

P.S. for my mother (who is begging me for the recipe) and for anyone else who is interested, I will post my recipe for Koulibiaca tomorrow.

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Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's happening in your kitchen. If you've tried one of my recipes, I'd like to know what you thought? Do you have some advice to make it better? Did you find a mistake? Perhaps it is a new favourite in your home?

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