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Test Recipes: Hot Cross Buns (Delia Smith's)
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ElPico
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 2:33 am    Post subject: baking with yeast Reply with quote

The success of your baking depends on many factors.

First, are you using yeast or some other rising factor? If you are using baking powder or baking soda, you will want to use a low-gluten flour like cake flour, or flour that has a small amount of gluten in it, like all purpose flour. You also want to be careful not to over-mix the batter, because that will make it tough. Cakes, scones, and sweet breads are usually made this way. You also will want to measure carefully. This kind of baking is affected by altitude, water hardness, the amount of moisture in the air and in your flour, and many other factors.

If you are using yeast, it is better to use a higher gluten flour and to knead it for at least five minutes in order to encourage the protein strands that will trap the gasses produced by the yeast. This is the method used for pizza dough and most plain breads.

The addition of milk, butter, sugar or potato water will tenderize your final product. Two or three long, slow risings with very little yeast will give you more "bread" flavor. Salt slows down the action of yeast. Sugar speeds it up.

My experience (in other words, my many failures) teaches me that tough, dense bread means that I added too much flour or did not let the dough rise long enough. Baking bread takes experience, and when you are familiar with how the dough should look and feel at each stage, you don't even need to measure. I have found that a good bread book with an explanation of the processes and how various ingredients affect the final product is a great start. There is a lot of mystery connected to bread baking, but in a way it is simpler than almost any other cooking.

Practice, patience, and good luck! Smile
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AaronTraas



Joined: 26 Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: The well Reply with quote

Of my experience in pasta making with my family, the well is used for a couple of reasons:

1) poor people in southern Italy didn't have mixing bowls
2) it allows you to use just the right amount of flour

The flour will pull moisture from the air on humid days, and not so much on dry ones. You start with more flour on the board than you think you need, make a well, add the wet ingredients (usually water and egg), and combine. If all the flour isn't taken up, you either leave the remnants (using later for rolling) or add more water.
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Barbara
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:02 am    Post subject: Hot Cross Bun time again! Reply with quote

The BEST recipe for these Lenten treats come from Stella Standard's classic "Our Daily Bread". Light, nicely spiced and crossed with a powdered sugar frosting that includes lemon zest. Yummm!
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guest
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:42 pm    Post subject: Hot Cross Bun time again Reply with quote

My dad always baked his buns very close together in a tray with sides so they touched and filled the whole tray after they had risen before baking.
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Stuart
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Another possibility for density issues Reply with quote

Having lived in England, Canada and the USA, there is a significant difference in the "hardness" of flour in the three countries (and some difference even between the millers). Flour is much harder in North America than England and Canada's being slightly harder than American ... presumably this is in part due to climate. Cake and pastry flour is fairly consistent.

Hardness impacts the bread consistency.

Canada produces high proportions of durum wheat which is a very hard wheat and used for breads and pasta.

Next is common wheat or bread wheat ... with various substrains which are commonly used for all-purpose or plain flour. (English "self-raising" flour is rarely seen in N. America) The softer strains are used for cake flour.

So, just as we see differences in breads (N. American "French" or "Italian" bread is only marginally similar to their namesakes and often give the impression of the loss of texture of frozen "prebake" breads presumably because of the attempt at a softer bread by using all-purpose flour blends), we can expect to see differences in the texture of things like hot cross buns

To get better texture, try flour blending Smile
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kelly
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:03 pm    Post subject: yep delias are awful Reply with quote

Here's my aussie recipe - took me 6 recipes and as many batches to perfect something that didn't resemble a cricket ball. the flavor is superior and the texture is as per those you get downunder. enjoy!

Aussie Hot Cross Buns
245 Minutes to Prepare and Cook
Ingredients

**Buns
packet yeast 2.25 tsp
butter, 4 tbsp
Milk, nonfat, 1.3 cup
Brown Sugar.25 cup
Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp
Cloves, ground, .25 tsp
Cinnamon, ground, 2 tsp
Pumpkin Pie spice, 2 tsp
Orange zest, organic, 1tsp
1 Egg
Wheat flour, white, all-purpose, enriched, 4 cup
Salt, 1 tsp
Currants, Sunmaid Zante, 0.3 cup

**Crosses
Granulated Sugar, 1Tbsp
Wheat flour, white, all-purpose, .25 cup
water (to make thick paste ratio 5:3 flour to water)

**Glaze
Granulated Sugar, 1Tbsp
Gelatine, 1 packet ~1 teaspoon
Boiling Water, 1Tbsp
Directions
Place Buns ingredients in bread machine in the order listed, Kneed for 6 minutes only adding currants at the 4 minute mark. Allow to prove for 45mins to an hour till doubled in size.
weigh dough and divide into 12ths. gently kneed into rolls and place on baking tray. Allow to prove for another hour till rolls have doubled in size.
mix paste ingredients together so no lumps exist, pipe crosses on rolls. A plastic bag with the corner snipped off makes a great makeshift piping bag.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes till rolls are 190 degrees in center.
Mix gelatin sugar and water and heat in microwave or on stove for 1-2 minutes till sugar is dissolved and glaze reaches about 200 degrees. Use pastry brush to brush glaze over tops of hot rolls. Serve while still warm or allow to cool and server toasted with butter.
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afspam
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:08 pm    Post subject: Yeast Strains Reply with quote

I am a baker, so here's my two cents...

One of the things mentioned in Delia's recipe on Delia Online is that "... easy-blend dried yeast is not suitable for this recipe." I assume from what she's saying, she didn't use INSTANT yeast she just used DRIED yeast as in the ingredient list. There is a big difference. Instant yeast can be mixed in with the flour and dry yeast needs much longer to activate, this is why in the beginning of her instructions she activates the yeast in warm water and sugar until it is frothy.

Also, you can't rely on someone else's timing for proofing dough unless they're baking in the same room as you are. England is much more humid than many parts of N.A. If you stick your fingers in the dough and the indents do not bounce back, then it's ready. I think it needed more time in your first rise.

You might want to look into the technique used for rolling buns. More surface tension would have given a smoother texture and also a better rise.

I believe the more traditional cross is a paste of flour and water, but it would be much thinner than what Delia used and would be piped on. Moving the tray closer to the top of the oven for the last 5-10 minutes would increase the browning.
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The White Rabbit
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:27 am    Post subject: my experiences Reply with quote

I've made this recipe a few times and I found that the buns were softer if left to prove for longer than recommended (it's also the end of summer about easter time in the southern hemisphere so it's warmer). I put the crosses on before they go in the oven. I also make them wetter and thinner, i've even piped the on once. I've also made this using choc chips (used cocoa in the crosses) and also with glace cherries and both are nice.
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GeriP
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject: Delia's Buns Reply with quote

I used the very same recipe on the very same day and got the very same results. Since I'm used to eating hot cross buns since childhood I binned the first batch and a) doubled the yeast, and b) made a thinner paste that I piped on for the second batch, which came out perfect. The buns should be brioche-like in taste and feel.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does Delia use a 15ml American tablespoon or a metric 20 ml one?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1012
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..... into 2 tablespoons (30 mL) hot water to form....

should work.
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UK Guest
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject: Hot Cross Buns Reply with quote

Delia uses metric tsp.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1012
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

msg #1 explicitly cites:

..... into 2 tablespoons (30 mL) hot water to form....

there may be new math,
there may be old math,
but 30 ml is still 30 ml.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mine came out that way too, but when my mum makes them they are always huge and puffy. I can only assume I didn't knead the dough for long enough.
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nomy
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:13 pm    Post subject: buns Reply with quote Delete this post

you should change the recipe a little to look like this:

(all % are calculated in relation to the amount of flour you use!)

100% flour (Type 550 - or all purpose)
20% Butter
10% Sugar
5% Yeast
1,5-2% Salt
40% Milk
~2 egg yokes per kilo

+ now throw in all the stuff you want in it, choclate chips, dried aplles (soak in water first!), sultanas (soak in water first as well!)
up to ~15% of ingrdients are ok.

First take the flour, salt, sugar, butter, yeast, yokes and milk and make a dough. this may take a while because the gliadin and glutenin protein parts of the flour need some time to combine and hold the dough.
The dough is ready when the dough does no longer stick to your fingers easily and can be strecht whithout falling apart (it should be really strechy!) now cut it a little into pieces and put your ingredients on it, start molding all togerther until it is one fine ball of dough.
When youre done take some plastic foil and place it over the dough and let it rest.
preheat oven to 220C dunno what that is in F. Put a soup plate full of water in the oven as well, you want to get some steam in there!
Let the dough rest for 10-15minutes then take away the plastic foil and hit (yeah hit) the dough and press it down a little, that way you destroy the tiny gas bubbles made by the yeast in the dough, so instead of one big bubble you have smaller bubbles in the dough.
Wait another 5-10 Minutes then take away the foil and portionize it into 65-70g pieces and mold them a round or long or whatever.
When done put them somewhere warm and cover them so the "skin" does not dry out.
when they reach about 3/4 of their maximum size (almost twice the size they used to be) put them on your baking paper/grill/whatever you use and put them in the oven, after about 10 minutes take out the soup plate (we dont need no more steam now) and close the oven again and turn it doen to round about 180C.
give them another 6-8 Minutes (inside they should reach 94C! if they dont and you think they are getting to dark, cover them with baking paper and put them on a lower level in the oven.

When the get out of the oven, use a little brush and cover them in water (JUST A LITTLE - dont bath them!) let them cool down.

- perfect sweet buns -
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