Monday, November 7, 2011

Hot Cross-less Buns

Its sunday night, approximately 5 pm, I am board, what do I do....well of course I make some more bread.

I had to make a few changes to this bread due to my last minute decision to bake. This bread calls for for fresh allspice but I did not have any. I decided to just use a very small amount of ground cloves instead. Let me preface this by saying that I usually can not stand cloves, they are so strong and I just associate them with overly spiced cider or mulled wine. I also did not have any candied lemon or orange peel on hand (not that I expect that anyone really does) so I just did with out them. I also did not have the full 4 ounces of dried currants that the formula called for, I needed to add an additional 1.5 ounces of golden raisins. With all of these changes I have to admit that these are really not hot crossed buns, another reason why I did not actually cross them with paste.

This bread uses a sponge with milk and a small amount of flour. This sits in a warm place (80 degrees or so) for about 30-40 minutes. Irregardless of the small amount of flour, there is some significant gluten development present. Hamelman notes:
". . . it should be light, and in spite of the minimal amount of flour in it, there should be an unusual but quite evident structure to it. Give it a little to check (p. 267)." 
This bread also contains a fair amount of softened (not melted) butter which is mixed first with the flour.  Then the sugar, salt and allspice (cloves) are added, then the egg. Lastly the sponge is added and the bread is mixed for three minutes on first speed, and another 3 minutes on second speed. Gluten development is not the aim, but the dispersion of the butter and the other ingredients is the reason for the length of the mix. Lastly add the currants and citrus zest.

This bread is baked at 440 for ten minutes or so, it should have a golden color yet be soft to the touch. As soon as it is removed the oven it is brushed with simple syrup. This give the rolls a brilliant shine as well helps with the breads shelf life.

Hot Cross Bun
I strongly recommend eating this bread while it is warm. It can also be microwaved on power level four for about 25 seconds, but this simply does not compare to an oven fresh bun.

Excerpt from Bread: Jeffrey Hamelman.
Listened to during this post

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