Get Them While They’re Hot
It’s Easter week and, in our house, this means Hot Cross Buns.
In years past, I have made these with varying degrees of success. One year, I think I killed the yeast and they didn’t rise at all. This year, I decided to switch recipes and I used one from a new to me cookbook, Home Baked Comfort. The recipe is for loaves, but can easily be made into rolls. I prefer the rolls. There is something so pleasing about an individual roll sitting on your plate. It seems to smile at you and invite you to eat it all up!
Anyway, I doubled the recipe, as per usual, and that made for a lot of dough, especially since I tossed in all the extras from my sourdough feeding that day. It came together really easily, though, and looked great. I added a handful each of chopped candied orange peel and grapefruit peel and used golden raising and dried cranberries in addition to the currants called for in the recipe.
The dough rose and performed as expected. Before baking, I brushed them with egg white and sprinkled them with citrus sugar that I had shaken off the candied peel. A lot of recipes call for a pastry cross to be put on top and I have never done that since my boys really love that sugary icing. If I am honest, I think the pastry is too fussy for me and I also love that icing! They looked wonderful coming out of the oven!
I ate one right away and it was lovely, all warm and soft and citrusy. They were almost as good several days later. Ever since I started throwing in my sourdough starter leftovers into my ordinary bread doughs, I have noticed that they stay soft longer. And, since they are straight doughs that use yeast and don’t get long rising times, the sourdough does not have a chance to change the flavor of the final product. So, I get two great benefits from adding the sourdough starter: not wasting the sourdough and a better keeping bread–win! win!
A double batch of the recipe makes 40-48 rolls. I made the recipe twice– that’s how much we loved them (yes, I made 88 hot cross buns in the space of two weeks. You would too if you had a taste of these!). This is the first recipe that I have made from the cookbook, and after this success, I look forward to trying some more. This will now be our go to recipe for hot cross buns from now on. If you want to try a recipe, here is one that is similar to the one I used. The recipe I used is not published anywhere on the internet that I can find, so I cannot share it with you, but I think it is worth the price for this recipe alone!