Hot cross buns

Yesterday was a day spent making, baking & tasting hot cross buns. Different methods of mixing, different ingredients & different ways of baking. I also bought some wheat based hot cross buns from a bakery so I & my family could compare their taste & texture with the ones I made. The gluten free ones (the ones made with butter & milk) got the thumbs up from the family. 

I designed this recipe so that the buns/bread can be eaten hot. Unlike a lot of the other bread recipes made with Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour you can cut into this bread when it is hot, steaming in fact. This is how it should be served - don't let it cool down too much. The buns/bread are at their best when they are hot/warm. It is wonderful when the bread is sliced hot, the butter starts melting on it & you can smell the spices. Delicious! 

To be able to cut into the bread when it is hot without it collapsing means that the normal bread recipe needs to be adjusted. Decreasing the amount of Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour decreases the total amount of protein (See the section on Proteins), this has been replaced by protein present in egg & some in the milk. The added maize starch is used to help; the structure & "dry" out the baked product. The final product will not be the same if you substitute potato starch for the maize starch. 

To mix the dough I have used both my Thermomix & KitchenAid. For this recipe I prefer using the KitchenAid as the dough is more "workable" for creating the individual buns. To make it easier to shape the buns I added some guar gum to the mix, this is optional. I haven't played around with the speeds/times/reverse etc. yet on the Thermomix to make a less fluid dough. If using a Thermomix the dough can be poured into a greased cake ring tin or poured into individual wells of a greased muffin tray.

      

Ingredients

Bun mix

350 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

100 g Maize starch

2 tsp Yeast

40 g Brown sugar

 6 g (~2 tsp) Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Allspice

1/2 tsp Mixed spice

1 tsp Salt

180 g Sultanas

100 g Warm water

400 g Warm milk*

1 Egg (at room temperature)

50 g Butter(softened)

Optional 1 tsp Guar gum

Extra Oil

 The butter & milk can be substituted with oil & water (however the baked product doesn't taste the same). The salt may need to be increased to 1 1/2 tsp.

For the chocolate lovers out there - in addition to the sultanas I also put in 75 g choc chips. My son & I loved this version.

 

Stripe

25 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

10 g Maize starch

10 g Caster sugar

60 g Water

 

Glaze

20 g Caster sugar

20 g Boiling water

 

Method

Warm water is ~1/4 to 1/3 of boiling water with the remaining cold water (tap). Whether you use 1/4 or 1/3 will depend on how cold your tap water is. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast.

Pre-incubate the yeast at room temperature for approximately 5 - 8 mins in the warm water containing 10 g of sugar. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar & disperse the yeast. This gives the yeast a readily available food source & they can "revive" in a relatively undisturbed environment. After the allocated time the surface of the yeast mixture should be slightly frothy. This indicates the yeast are viable. 

If the yeast mixture has a frothy top or you can see bubbles proceed with bread making.

Are you going to proof the dough in your oven or in another warm spot? If proofing in your oven turn oven to ~50 C for approximately 10 mins then turn it off again.

Depending on how you will bake the buns/bread, oil the tin(s), muffin tray, slice tray etc.

Warm the milk (I used the microwave). 

Thermomix

I wouldn't add in the guar gum if using the Thermomix.

Place ingredients (excluding sultanas) in the TM bowl (including pre-incubated yeast). 

Mix @ 37C for 2.5 mins at speed 4.

Ensure all ingredients are incorporated. If not, scrape down the sides and briefly mix again.

Add in sultanas and mix for 30 secs on Reverse speed 2.

Stand Mixer

Place all ingredients (excluding the sultanas) into the mixing bowl (including pre-incubated yeast). 

Combine ingredients using the flat beater until a uniform consistency is achieved. You may need to stop the mixer and scrap down the sides. This make take longer than 5 mins. When the dough is smooth mix in the sultanas.

Both Methods

The dough is ready for proofing & putting on the stripe.

The shape of the dough will depend on the way it was mixed & whether it contains guar gum.

Thermomix - pour the dough into a ring tin or pour ~105 g into individual wells of a muffin tray. There should be sufficient dough for 12.

Stand mixer - Transfer dough to a slightly oiled work surface (I use non-stick paper). Put a bit of the extra oil on your hands - it helps to keep the dough from sticking to you when you are dividing & shaping it. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions - they will be ~125 g each. I wanted the buns to be approximately the same size (photographic reasons) so I oiled a bowl & weighed out the individual buns. I shaped the dough into buns by transferring it quickly from oiled hand to oiled hand (the dough is tacky) & then put it onto a greased slice tray (Base dimensions 27 x 17 cm, it was the only thing I had that was nearly the right size). I have also put 6 buns into a large rectangular cake tin (Base dimensions 32.5 x 8.5 cm).

Mix together the ingredients for the stripe. I use a stab blender (Bamix). Transfer mixture to a small plastic bag or piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle. If the mixture is in a plastic bag push the mixture down to one corner. Snip off a little of the corner so that the mixture can be pushed out in a thin stream.

Put stripes along the buns lengthwise & then across each pair of buns. If the dough is in a ring tin make a pattern of your choice. I put ~12 stripes from the middle of the ring out to the edge. I then made a stripe from the edge of one stripe to the start of the next stripe (the middle of the tin) on the left. I repeated this pattern on the right side. It ended up looking a little like a flower (it was supposed to look like a flower - I don't know whether it was recognisable).      

Let the dough proof for approximately 30 mins in a warm moist environment. Turn your oven on to 200 C.

If you are proofing in your oven put on the timer for ~20 mins. When the time is up take the proofing dough out of the oven and turn the oven up to 200 C. The 20 mins is an estimate, it will depend on how long it takes your oven to reach 200 C.

Before putting it in the oven ensure that the dough has risen ~2X.

Bake at 200 C, the time will vary depending on the individual oven & what shape your loaf/buns are. I baked the ring tin loaf for 40 mins & the 10 buns side by side in the slice tray for 25 mins. If your oven has a hot spot turn the bread halfway through baking.

Prepare the glaze by dissolving the sugar in boiling water. It may need to be stirred a little. 

Take the buns out of the oven, remove them from the tin & put them on a cooling rack. Use a pastry brush to coat the tops of the buns/loaf with the glaze. 

Get the butter & knife ready. Simply enjoy!