Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wholemeal Hot Cross Bun

Hot Cross Bun has been a long standing tradition of Good Friday. And in my mind, Hot Cross Bun is always related to Christianity until I read it in wikipedia that Greeks may have started to mark the bun earlier.

If you are superstitious you will like the tale that Hot Cross Buns baked on Good Friday never become moldy and they say that you should save one bun as a good luck charm until the next year's buns are made. Yep, I saved it in my stomach *burp*.

I modified my favourite bread recipe to make it with wholemeal flour. The traditional hot cross bun contains mixed spice, cinnamon etc which my highness, Sheen, detest, so I am turning to the tried-and-tested recipe.

Hot Cross Bun
adapted from Eggless Milk Loaf

178g fresh milk
80g brown sugar *
5g salt
100g wholemeal flour
150g bread flour
4g Instant yeast
38g butter (unsalted)
Handful Raisin, plumped up in hot water for an hour **
some veg oil or butter for greasing

How I did it:
  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre.

  2. Pour the liquid into the well of the dry ingredients. I use a wooden spoon to stir them very quickly just to mix the wet and dry as evenly as possible. Make sure no wet or dry stuff sitting at the bottom of the mixing bowl.

  3. Leave the mixture covered and rest for 10min.

  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly grease work surface. Grease your hand as well to avoid dough from sticking to your hands. Knead for 10-30sec. Stop before the dough absorbs the oil and sticks. Shape the dough into a smooth ball.

  5. Cover the dough with a cloth, and quickly clean the bowl out with warm water (this will keep the dough free from harden bits on the inner surface of the bowl.

  6. Dry and lightly oil the bowl, then lift the dough from work surface and replace it in the bowl. Cover with a cloth and leave for 10 min.

  7. Knead again with greased hands on greased work surface for another 10~30sec. Shape dough and leave it covered for another 10min. Repeat this once more before leaving it to proof in a warm environment until it double in size.

  8. Remove dough and gently punch out the gas. Divide dough into 6 equal portion (~85g each). Roll it out and add raisins, then shape into balls. Let the dough rest and relax for 15 mins. (this 'relaxing' time is needed so that the dough will be easier to roll out and shaped).

  9. Place doughs in lightly greased bread tin/pan, with ~ ½” space between them. Let the doughs proof for the second time. Check for readiness: if you gently press your finger on the dough and it returns to the original shape, it is under-proof. If the dent remains on the dough or taking too long to return to the shape, it is over-proof. The timing is right when the dough slowly bounce back.

  10. Bake at pre-heated oven at 170 deg C for 30 to 35mins.

To make the flour paste to pipe over the bun:

Place 1/4 cup wholemeal flour in a small bowl. Add spoonfuls of water until it reaches the runny consistency. Put the batter into a piping bag (or a plastic bag with corner snipped off) and pipe cross on the bun.

Baker's Notes:

  • * It was a mistake on my part to have used 80g of sugar. I was trying to resize the recipe and somehow the computation went wry... It was certainly too sweet for me, but the kids love it. The sugar content make up for the heavier loave, perhaps. Btew 40-50g will have sufficed.
  • ** I used the water which has been used to plump up the raisin to make flour paste for marking crosses.
  • The cross, on the hindsight, could be better if I'd pipe the royal icing instead. It will be sweet with a gently crunch. If you trying to do the royal icing way, pipe after the bread is baked and cooled.
  • Initially I baked at 180C, but the high sugar content makes it brown very quickly. So I turn down the heat and bake until the it is all through.
  • As for the end results - I know wholemeal bread are meant to be heavier and denser than white bread... but I have a feeling that I did something wrong somewhere. The bread is far too heavy!

Though I have posted the recipe, I won't suggest you bake this if you have a choice. =p

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