Friday, April 2, 2010

Hot Cross Buns

"Hot cross buns, 
Hot cross buns,
One ha'penny,
Two ha'penny,
Hot cross buns."

Today is Good Friday. You know what that means? Hot cross buns! According to Wikipedia, in historically Christian societies, hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross in the middle standing as a symbol of the crucifixion of Christ. Pretty cool, huh?

I haven't worked with yeast since I made monkey bread during the Snowpocalypse.  That time I had to dissolve the yeast in warm water, but this time the recipe called for lukewarm milk. I didn't have any milk in fridge, but there was some buttermilk leftover from when I made Whoopie Pies, so I used that instead. Buttermilk isn't all that different from milk, right?

Buttermilk apparently isn't quite as much like milk as I thought. The dough just didn't come together as well -- it was much drier than it should have been, and I had to use even more buttermilk and melted butter (and a little water) to moisten it enough to hold together.

I don't know if it's because of the buttermilk, or if I just over-kneaded the dough, but the damn thing didn't rise nearly as much as it should. It was supposed to swell to twice the original size (which is exactly what happened when I made monkey bread), but it really only got about half as big as it should have.

Basting hot cross buns felt a lot like basting a turkey -- you brush the balls with sauce, let them marinate for a while, makes some slits, then juice 'em up some more. The glaze also called for milk, but as none had magically appeared in my fridge in the last hour or so, I substituted it with heavy whipping cream instead. 

These buns were crustier than I expected, and not as sweet. They were almost scone-like in consistency. Not sure if that's how they're supposed to be, but I think they still turned out pretty well considering all the experimenting I did with the recipe. They smell wonderfully cinnamon-y, and the icing adds just the right amount of sweetness to the buns.

The recipe can be found here at the Joy of Baking's website.

1 comment:

karl said...

buttermilk is more acidic, yeast doesn't like that