Friday, 6 April 2012

Hot Cross Buns

Yet again, I've been touched by whatever jinx it is that makes my yeast baking fail! 

These Hot X Buns, from the recent Dan Lepard recipe published in the Guardian were full of flavour. However, the buns themselves were dense, heavy and dry - and I know that is not how Dan meant them to be.

I used 250g of a mix of cherries, berries and sultanas and 50g chopped dried apricots, but I missed the citrus tang that you get from mixed peel. The only change I made was to divide the dough into 15, rather than 12 buns, although I forgot to make the paste crosses correspondingly smaller!

I don't know where I went wrong - I bought new yeast, in case the yeast used in my last failed attempt was too old, I was careful not to get the liquid too warm, I measured all the ingredients carefully, I followed the instructions exactly. I set the batch of rolls in a warm place to double in size, and hardly anything happened! After 90 minutes, they had nowhere near doubled in size and weren't getting any larger, so I went ahead and put on the crosses, and baked, then glazed, them.

I think this is the last attempt at yeast baking. Failure is not just discouraging, it's flippin' expensive!

I am still going to enter these into this month's challenge over at Tea Time Treats - although the recipe didn't work well for me, I'd certainly recommend it to anyone more confident in their baking skills, as the flavour in the buns was excellent!

Tea Time Treats is a monthly baking and blogging challenge hosted jointly by Karen at Lavender and Lovage, and Kate at What Kate Baked. The full rules can be found here. This month the event is hosted by Kate and the theme is baking for an Easter Tea.

14 comments:

Caroline said...

I find sweet yeasted doughs can be very difficult to work with - hot cross buns always seem to take forever and a day to rise at all. I think it's because it's such a rich dough and cinnamon is supposed to directly retard the action of yeast. I was looking back through my old HCB posts and note that in 2009 I left them for 3 1/2 hours to rise, and that the previous year they didn't get as long to rise and were dry and dense. I don't know if that's helpful or not, but time may be the issue. I agree that failures are both disheartening and expensive but at least these had a good flavour!

Baking Addict said...

Shame it didnt quite work out. I've never made hot cross buns and rarely bake with yeast so no idea what went wrong. Sounds like you did everything correctly. Still looks good though especially with lots of butter!

Suelle said...

Thanks, Caroline. I suspect time may be the biggest issue - after being taught to get cakes into the oven as quickly as possible, it goes against my instincts to allow more time, and then even more time!

Foodycat said...

It's a good thing HCBs make good bread and butter pudding! It's a shame it didn't work well. The step of mixing the yeast with the cider and flour is a bit of an unusual one for fast-action yeast.

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

I made these too and was a little disappointed. I agree it's a time thing and you know they also say that a light loaf depends on your mood! They look pretty and I bet the house smelt incredible as they cooked.

Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

What a shame about the yeast - the recipe sounds delicious. I love the addition of apricots but I think I would miss the citrus tang too!

orange99 said...

I think you needed to leave them for more time to rise - or do the '8 seconds in a microwave, rest for 10 mins and repeat' thing 3 times, which is usually a good way to give recalcitrant dough a kick along!

Suelle said...

I've never heard of the microwave tip - if I ever open a packet of yeast again, I'll try to remember it!

celia said...

Oh bugger, I'm so sorry they didn't work, Suelle. Hot cross buns can be finicky in terms of texture, which I suspect is why they're so often toasted! Hope you're having a good Easter nonetheless! xx

Katie said...

Shame they were dry. Try toasting them, I always find that lightens up anything, or turn them into a bread pudding. Have a great Easter

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

I'm so sorry they didn't work out quite as you expected Suelle- I for one find that very frustrating when baking! My versions this year were probably a little heavier than I hoped they would be- but there's nothing like popping them in the toaster and piling on lashings of warm butter! Happy Easter and thank you very much for entering TTT!

Chele said...

I've made this recipe before and have to admit to being underwhelmed by them too. Its a shame because the recipe reads so well.

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Apologies for initially leaving these buns off the round up Suelle- it appeared we didn't receive your email. But thank you very much for alerting me to the fact, they are now on the round-up!

Suelle said...

Thanks - that's the first time that googlemail has failed me.