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Test Recipes: Hot Cross Buns (Delia Smith's)
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Paul
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - no, the glaze was applied after baking, and just gives a glossy sheen. Mine are medium brown, not a mahogany colour that it seems you are looking for.

The cooking time with an egg and milk enriched dough should give you a light to mid brown shade. Perhaps an extra 5 minutes?
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big_silver_earrings
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:15 pm    Post subject: correction to my own post Reply with quote

I stand correcte - according to the Australian Women's Weekly it's Australians ONLY who use 20 mL teaspoons - NZ, UK and the USA all use 15 mL.
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Betty Sapp
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:57 pm    Post subject: Hot Cross Buns Reply with quote

In my Australian recipe, the crosses are painted on with a very thin mixture of flour and water. This results in a white cross on a golden bun. After baking the buns are painted with unflavored gelatin dissolved in water which give them a nice sheen.
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Chef Buttercup
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:37 pm    Post subject: The well thing... Reply with quote

I thought the well was stupid too, so I tried just dumping in the wet with out the well. Ofcourse all the liquid sloshed to the edges of the bowl and the surface of the flour and made paste. I felt it was enough waste stuck tot he side of the bowl to throw off the flour ratio and also it was a bigger pain to wash the bowl. So now I make the well.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1618
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:12 am    Post subject: Re: The well thing... Reply with quote

Chef Buttercup wrote:
I thought the well was stupid too, so I tried just dumping in the wet with out the well. Ofcourse all the liquid sloshed to the edges of the bowl and the surface of the flour and made paste. I felt it was enough waste stuck tot he side of the bowl to throw off the flour ratio and also it was a bigger pain to wash the bowl. So now I make the well.

I use a spatula to scrape as I go, but if not doing that I can see why the well helps buffer the liquid from the sides of the bowl...
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Making these buns has become a huge contest between my Dad and I, so I would love to add some other things that help. When you shape the buns, put them in a deep dish, and put them close together. This gives you a really soft side to each one. Also the glaze is good if made with the gelatin and water but also add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon - it makes them really brown on top. Having everything really warm makes the yeatst perform better too - use a warm bowl, and keep it warm during the rising process. It is alway cold here at Easter, we use a bowl of hot water under the bowl and the baking tray to keep it all rising well.
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Miranda
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:47 am    Post subject: Delia's Hot Cross Buns Reply with quote

I tried Deila's hot cross bun recipe this year for the first time instead of my usual recipe. I was disappointed as they were dense and flat. I used dried yeast that had to be activated. Will go back to old recipe next year.
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MissJubilee
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:26 am    Post subject: Substitutions Reply with quote

Boy, these are delicious!

I went on a baking frenzy for the holiday in my new, bigger kitchen here in China (yay!), and my family's traditional Swedish Coffee Bread was the first yeast attempt. I've not had good results with yeast here. The whole wheat bread I baked for Christmas Eve was flat and horridly dense, and last year's coffee bread never rose all the way either. But it came off pretty well this year. After a couple of simpler recipes, I still had time to give hot cross buns a try as well. The envelopes here hold approx. 10-20 grams; I had half an envelope left from the coffee bread, and when I went to buy more, I got a different variety by the same company - well, different designed package, different volume, the only English on both being "Instant Dry Yeast." Anyway, the new envelope had exactly one tablespoon in it, and I tossed in the leftover half-envelope also, which turned out to be another tablespoon, so I probably had twice as much as I was supposed to. Perhaps that's why it rose so beautifully! (Ya think?) Wink Is there any danger if one uses too much yeast in recipes?

I also had to make some substitutions. I bought raisins and an orange, then bothered to look in my cookbook and found that dried cranberries and lemon would be closer... I had some imported cranberries, but had to stick with the orange zest for citron, I wasn't going out again! (The Joy of Cooking is a great resource, by the way - not exhaustive but almost anything a cook would need.)

I had trouble with the measurements, though. I don't have a scale, so I had to google the conversions, finding recipes that gave both measurements for each ingredient in the amount called for. I ended up with 1/4 cup butter, but after I put it in, I glanced at the package and saw that since it was 125g, I should have put in 2/5, not 1/2, of the stick. *sigh* I ended up putting in another 1/4-1/3 cup flour as I kneaded to keep it from sticking to my hands and get it from cookie-dough to bread-dough consistency. I don't suppose you could put the "supposed" volume measurements on the recipe as well? I understand that they're not as accurate, but a scale is not important enough to merit the expense (and the counter space) for me right now and is probably impractical for many other people. My best guesses on this were:

2/3C water, 1/4C sugar, 1/5C butter, 2C flour, 1tsp salt, 1/4tsp nutmeg, 3/8tsp cinn, 3/8tsp cloves, 1/8tsp ginger (I don't have allspice), 1 egg, 1/3C cran, zest of one orange, and 1(2)T yeast.

I tried brushing them with milk as you mentioned, but they still weren't very brown. Being American, I decided to follow the stereotype and made a milk-and-powdered-sugar paste to fill in the crosses after they cooled, then thinned it with more milk and poured the glaze over the buns. They ended up being mostly eaten for breakfast Easter morning - there was just too much to eat for the birthday party/sleepover the night before - and they were delicious first thing in the morning!
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leonii
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!
do u think i make them with choc pieces instead of currants?!
thanks..
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Ishbel



Joined: 10 Apr 2007
Posts: 41
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think any European cook could manage without an accurate scale! It's ingrained in our cooking methods. Smile Scales can be bought here for less than 5 pounds sterling - so it's not a huge expense.

The reason I try to few US recipes is that the 'cup' method puts me off. What size cup, out of the many in my cupboard, should I use?!

In Cyprus, they often cook by the glass - so long as the glass is the samesized one each time, the ratios are correct - ie one glass sugar to three glasses sugar etc!
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish the US would go completely metric, but now we are stuck with what we have.

A "cup" is 8 ounces by volume, and is about 236.5 ml. There are 4 cups to a US quart (946ml).
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Ishbel



Joined: 10 Apr 2007
Posts: 41
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we in the UK used to say that we were 'stuck' with Imperial... look at us now!!!!

BUT, I do have pre-decimalisation scales as well as metric - and have recipes in both measurement systems. I just don't mix them up!

It must drive American engineers mad if they use anything other than metric measurements....!
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Deborah
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 12:31 pm    Post subject: British tablespoons and metric matters Reply with quote

In my remote South African school days, we were taught that Americans and South Africans tidily measured their teaspoons, tablespoons, cups etc flat whereas the wicked English used rounded measures. Few are more English than Delia, so perhaps that, plus the proofreading glitches, could have been the problem with the dry yeast.

In South Africa we use a 5 ml teaspoon, 15 ml tablespoon and 250 ml measuring cup. To my knowledge, these are US standard measures. We also standardised two pints to be one litre instead of the more accurate 1200 ml, and 2 lb to be a kilogram. The line of least resistance. It works, until you go international - those Oz tablespoons have caused me grief and trauma.

I don't own a scale either - had one once, it broke, and I couldn't be bothered to replace it. So I often have to do sums on the backs of envelopes while cooking. Nothing bad has happened so far.
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 7:08 pm    Post subject: On wells ... Reply with quote

When Mom was teaching me to cook, she told me that the well method was for the more delicate batters that need to be combined in as few strokes as possible. I can't see that it would be necessary for a kneaded dough, though.
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Ghancock
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:31 pm    Post subject: Just a thought Reply with quote

I know that this hasn't been posted to in a while but I figured that I might have some luck explaining a few things.

I have been a cook for quite some time (about a decade or so) and I have dabbled in baking. This does not mean that I am too qualified to give advice though...

Baking is to cooking as Geometry is to art. It requires far more precision than experimentation.

As for what could have been the error, there are multiple possibilities.
Some are as follows:

The more you kneed dough the more gluten you create causing increased density. If you over-kneeded the dough to fully incorporate the ingredients then you could certainly have caused density issues.

Your location. Or rather your air moisture as well as your height above sea level can change recipies a great deal. Including but not limited to an increase in liquids or flour by up to a 1/4 cup (2 oz). If you added flour until dough was no longer sticky then this could change the recipe quite a lot.

There are other possible reasons but this is enough for now.

As for "The Well"

There is a very good reason that it is used. When you have the liquid ingredients inside the center of "the well" you are supposed to mix the wet ingredients as to slowly incorporate the dry via the friction of the moving liquids. You are NOT supposed to mix much of the dry ingredients, the wet should pull enough dry in at one time. This will lower the amount of gluten created by overmixing even if it takes a longer amount of time to mix and reduce the amount of "Flour pockets" that can be created by careless mixing.

Strangly enough "the Well" method is also used in Pasta creation which relies heavily on the production of gluten to make the strong bonds of the pasta. The well is used in this instance is the reason stated by others previously, which is that it reduces spillage of wet ingredience while mixing on a cutting board or other flat surface.

I hope this wasn't too much of a novel and I again incourage you to take my advice with a grain of salt as since I am not an actual professional baker (Athough I do bake quite often.)

Ghancock
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