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Hot Cross Buns

posted Apr 22, 2011, 7:17 PM by Jenny Loh   [ updated Apr 22, 2011, 8:12 PM ]
To celebrate Easter Day,  there's easter eggs and Hot Cross Buns.  I've seen this recipe a couple of times and just didn't try it because its a sweet bun,  that I usually do not like.  I saw a recipe again that is made of chocolates and well,  that is something that I prefer. I happened to print out a recipe shared by one of member from Here's the link to the blog.   

It was late at night,  I just finished serving dinners to 3 boys - my son and his 2 friends.  This was the first time that I felt that I didn't cook enough.  My husband always says I prepare for an army like my mom,  when I have visitors. Not this time though.  There was barely anything left when the dinner was over. 

After preparing dinner,  I also made some Italian Bread.  I decided that I needed to make more bread. I was flipping through my recipes for Hot Cross Buns and I came across this recipe that I printed out some time back,  knowing that I will try this recipe some day.  Well, I was going to try it since is Good Friday.  

1.  Mix the Preferment and put aside for 1/2 hour.  I substituted Fresh Yeast with Instant Yeast here.  It was bubbling after 1/2 hour with warm water.

2.  Mix all dry ingredients for the dough and add in the preferment. Here I made some changes to the recipe.  I added Cocoa powder, substituting 17g of the milk powder with Cocoa Powder.  Mix well.

3.  Add in the butter and preferment. At this point,  I saw the recipe wrongly.  It was late at night,  my eyes were failing me with the orange lighting in my kitchen,  and I read that I had to add 200g of water.  Well,  the words printed were probably at a size 7 or 8.  Relatively small,  my eyes were straining while reading.  I used my electric whisk,  and it was just too wet.  I thought - ehmm  this recipe is not right.  I added probably a cup of floor, till the dough pulled off a little from the mixing bowl.  It was still very wet to the touch.

4.    I did some stretch and fold in the mixing bowl,  left it for 15 minutes and did another stretch and fold.  I can see that the dough is gaining gluten strength.   Suppose to proof it for 1/2 hour,  I let it proof from 1 hour and doubled in size.  

5.    I then took it out gently without degassing.  Just gently flatten it.  I was still a little sticky,  so I had to put a little floor on my hand and a little on the surface.  I didn't have raisins, sultana,  or dried  fruit.  I substituted semi-sweet milk chocolate and white chocolate.  I was too lazy too measure them,  and I just took a handful,  and spread them out.  I folded the dough, it was very very soft,  had to handle it carefully.  Left it for 15 minutes.

6.    I then cut them into 18 pieces about 65g each.  The dough was sticky,  I had a bit of a hard time ensuring that I don't have them stuck on my pantry table, nor my hands,  or cutter.  Anyway,  I managed to cut and fold them,  have to be careful not to add too much flour or the dough will not stick together . Roll them into a ball a little tightly and drop each of them nicely into a square pan.  I have 2 square pans, that holds nine of them each. Spread 3 by 3,  almost touching together.  Very soon,  the yeast was working and the dough expanded nicely.  After 1/2 hour,  I decided I needed to sleep.

7.    I decided to put the Crossing Paste first,  and mixed it up.  Well,  guess what,  at that point,  I realised I added the 200g water of the Crossing Paste into my dough.  No wonder my dough is so wet and sticky,  and I had to add more flour.  Well,  at least it came together.  Mixing the paste together,  I put it into a pipe and pipe it accordingly.  I read my recipe again,  and I realised I'm putting this paste too early.  It was suppose to put in just before baking.  Well,  too late.  Let's see what happens in the morning.   I put the 2 pans in the fridge.  I wet the cloth before I put it over the pan. I learnt that by doing that,  I kept the dough moist and it won't dry up by the morning.

8.     6 hours later,  I'm awake because 1 of the kids have to go off to attend his Saturday Class - Korean School.  Such hardworking people! I'm thinking,  me too. I decided to bake the dough cold.  The dough looks well expanded,  about 2 times bigger. Nicely set in the square pan.  I put the pan into the cold oven,  bake 10 mins at 100 degree celsius,  adjust to 195 degree for 20 minutes.  I checked that the dough hit 200 degree fahrenheit before I took it out.  The bread rose very very nicely. Almost 3 times.  

9.     The Cross Paste was spread out a little,  but I could still make out the cross. The bread turns out very very soft, I had a little problem taking it out from the pan although I had oiled the pan before I put in the dough.  

10.     I served the buns hot at breakfast but the kids each had 4 slices of bread with lots of ham, cheese, and butter and they were not interested in my sweet buns.  Well,  I guess I'll bring it to office to share with my colleagues who like sweet breads.

Adapted Recipe for the Ingredients:


100g Bread Flour
17g Caster Sugar
8g  Instant yeast
150g Warm Water

Final Dough:
All the Ferment
234g Bread Flour - with 1 extra cup (additional cup of water was a mistake)
3g Salt
10g Milk Powder
17g Cocoa Powder
62g Butter
1 egg
50g Caster Sugar
3g Cinnamon
3g Nutmeg
Handful of Semi Sweet Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate
200g Water (this was a mistake)