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25 February 2016 @ 07:31 am
Happy Birthday to you!
30 April 2011 @ 05:41 pm
This is a picture of the most beautiful bun in the last batch. It was one of the four baked in a seperate pan so the sides are golden brown. The links go to other pictures of the same bun.

Hot cross 2011


25 April 2011 @ 03:59 am
The Easter batch of Hot Cross Buns has come out of the oven. I saved the best and greatest recipe for Easter Sunday. This requires beating the egg yolks and egg whites seperately and folding the fluffy egg whites into the soft dough, and refrigerating the dough over night. This made 32 large hot cross buns which are absolutely perfectly shaped and colored. This batch was actually started on Saturday evening and baked very early on Sunday. The dough took longer to rise in cool temperature.
The recipe is from the New York Times Heritage Cookbook page 92.


A long time ago, Loretta Barrett, the wife of one of my coworkers, gave me her favorite Hot Cross Bun recipe. This was xeroxed from an old Betty Crocker cook book with various corrections and changes in her own hand. I have made this recipe several times, doubling it often and changing the spices and method. I found the 1/4 cup mash potatoes in the recipe made this denser and moister and kept it from drying out. I used to take particular care with this part of the recipe, boiling the potatoes and smashing them with a ricer to prevent lumps and using the potato water as part of the liquid.
However yesterday when I was trying to find a web copy of this recipe to put into this entry, I found a recipe exactly like mine. It was from a very old Betty Crocker Cookbook, page 79, Holiday and Foreign Favorites chapter, but it called for 3/4 cups of mashed potatoes. I went back and looked at my xerox, and the numbers were right on the edge. The 1/4 was actually 3/4 but only part of the 3 had appeared in the xerox. So how long have I done this recipe incorrectly? Some numbers on my xerox page indicate that it was made in 2001. So for 10 long years.

Here is the original recipe


I did a double batch of this recipe and had to mix it in my large mixing bowl. Here is a picture of the dough rising. The whole mixing bowl is in a large cake carrier, with water in the bottom. I found this is the best method for keeping the dough from drying out while rising and regulating the temperature. Cool water for a long rise, and warm water for a quick rise.

Since this was a double batch and a fairly large recipe, I made one batch into a doggie safe version by leaving out the raisins and putting in other dried fruit. In this case apricots, cranberries and dates as well as candied orange and lemon peel.


I did the other half with a normal fruit mixture of currants, lemon peel and orange peel

Another picture showing the interior.

This made 28 raisin Hot Cross Buns, and 24 Apricot Hot Cross buns. Some of the buns were rather small but there was 5 1/2 lbs of dough in the double batch
14 April 2011 @ 05:06 pm
This can barely be included in the Hot Cross Bun category. Its not a proper yeast raised, butter and egg rich bun, its a muffin. Its a quick bread and contains no butter, no milk and no eggs. It might not even have a cross. However even Vegans should be able to join in the festive celebrations. This recipe has one good point, it takes about an hour to make unlike the proper Hot Cross Buns which can take days.

This recipe is mine, no one else is silly enough to claim it, but it draws heavily on a corn bread found in Laura Brody's Good Food Gourmet.

The egg substitute in all its goopyness.

The white whole wheat flour mixture

The finished product

Vegan Hot Cross Muffins recipe
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11 April 2011 @ 11:45 am
Well the Orange Hot Cross Buns are out of the oven and light and fluffy and white and orangey. I made the frosting out of powdered sugar and orange juice. The buns are tasty but not filling, I ate 4 for breakfast and still want more. The texture improved as the buns cooled down. Its too white and soft to be really satisfying. Note as an attempt to use South Beach diet I normally eat whole wheat bread during the year, so my standards have changed.
I think orange peel, and orange juice and orange frosting is just fine. If you are going to be orange, be really orange. I wonder what this would taste like in an all or half whole wheat bread. The little white whole wheat flour in the Orange Hot Cross buns seem to have no affect on the flavor or texture.


Here are some more pictures showing the sponge, the dough and various stages of baking.


little tiny buns ready to proof over night.
11 April 2011 @ 12:19 am
By taking a bit of time here and a little bit of time there and allowing a long slow rise I managed to get the orange hot cross buns done today.
I had doubts about dissolving the yeast in the orange juice since I was afraid that the yeast would be overwhelmed by the sugar. I started out with 1 teaspoon of yeast in 1/4 cup orange juice. If the yeast had failed to bubble I would have started again with plain warm water. The yeast bubbled quite nicely and I mixed the rest of the orange juice into the yeast, and then 2 cups white whole wheat flour to make a soft sponge. I have a picture of an astonishingly orange sponge.
All my bread recipes are transformed into sponge type recipe if they aren't that way to start with. The book that started me using sponges for breads was From A Baker's Kitchen By Gail Sher. Other books dealing with that subject are The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book by Laurel Robertson and Carol Flinders and Godfrey Bronwen, and the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook by Brinna Sands.
The dough turned out amazingly orange and disgustingly sticky. The orange zest was all the thin orange layer of a navel orange. The rest of the orange was very tasty and made a nice post lunch snack. Maybe next time I'll try cutting up the whole orange peel into very small pieces. Why do recipes just ask for the zest instead of the whole peel?
Done isn't quite the right word. 32 little tiny buns are sitting on a 1/2 sheet pan in my proofing box. It can rise overnight and be baked tomorrow.
This only made 3 lbs of dough as oppose to recipes using 8 lbs of flour that normally make 4 1/2 lbs or so.
The recipe said to make 22 buns which is a strange number, it would be easier to divide the dough into 24 pieces. My scale is analog and the measurements are in 2 ounce divisions, so I normally start by cutting the dough into halves and then fourths and eighths. After that last stage I could dived the last part into thirds for 24 but how does anyone get 22.
08 April 2011 @ 08:34 am
I have decided to get away from my old recipes and try something different. I found a recipe on the web that calls for orange juice as the liquid and has fresh orange zest but no candied orange peel.

The recipe is from Taste of Home and can be found here.


It was recommended in another blog with a much prettier picture here


This recipe has proportionally a lot of eggs and butter so should be fairly rich. I'll probably do a quick sponge and reduce the amount of yeast. Its a new recipe so I won't fiddle too much with it, but I wonder what it would be like as a whole wheat bread.

Now all I have to do is find the time to make it. This is going to be a busy weekend.
03 April 2011 @ 06:24 pm
Currently I am trying the Hot Cross Bun recipe from the King Arthur Flour 200 year Anniversary Cookbook.
I am not feeling so happy about this one. I used Regular Whole Wheat flour when I was planning to use White Whole Wheat flour, I forgot the dried milk, I left the dough in the refrigerator all day yesterday because I was too busy to bother with it. The dough became very sticky as I kneaded in the butter, and its not a very large recipe. I made 28 rather small rolls. The dough takes it color from the brown sugar which looks odd for a white flour recipe.

10:00 pm the buns had risen and were showing gas bubbles on top, so I baked them. Now that its risen the Hot Cross Buns don't look so tiny.

Pictures from the next day.
hot cross 2011



I did discover the Diabetic Special Hot Cross Bun recipe is quite tasty with Lemon Curd if you are not diabetic.
02 April 2011 @ 12:10 am
This seems to be my day for stupid baking mistakes. I put regular dried milk in the Diabetic friendly hot cross buns instead of the special Baker's dried milk. Then on a batch of normal sugar and fruit Hot Cross buns I left out the dried milk entirely instead of adding to the sponge at the same time as the sugar and spices and the initial portion of flour. Milk is suppose to make the dough rise higher and keep longer.