August 29, 2012

Bless (Hot Cross) Buns

Everything that can go wrong went wrong in the making of these buns. Nevertheless it turned out really well! Reason? I prayed over it. Yup, that's right, these buns have been blessed by me.

Surely it couldn't be that bad? So what went wrong? Let's do a count in brackets.

Started with me warming the milk in a microwave (1).

Then I added 7g of yeast to the milk and let it sit for few minutes. It did not froth at all! (2) It could be due to the fact that the milk was slightly hot. :P

Not sure what took over me as I still added the yeast + milk to the dough (3). Left the dough to proof in its ultra sticky state with no kneading done yet. Nothing moved. No rising at all after 10mins. (This is not counted as I left it to proof slightly first before kneading since HHB mentioned about the wet dough).

I opened a new pack of instant yeast and added it to some water with sugar. It froth only slightly. Upset, I simply poured about 3-5g of instant yeast onto the dough (4). Give it a slight fold over with a metal spoon and threw it into my mixer with dough hooks.

After churning about 10mins, surprisingly a nice satiny dough formed. Not wanting to dirty my hands, I used a spatula and tried to "roll" it into a ball and left it in the mixer bowl to proof, covering it with cling wrap.

Due to the high amount of yeast being added, it doubled its size in 20mins instead of the usual 1 hour. I quickly took it out and cut into 16 portions. Rolled them into small balls and place them in a tray.

It was here that I said a prayer and blessed my buns!

Then I realized I forgot about the chocolate pieces (5)! Took chocolate chips out and took out the balls one by one. Tried to wrap some chocolate chips in them. As I did not want to waste my chocolate chips in case the bread did not turn out well,  I did not managed to use 150g but only wrapped in 50g at maximum. I left the buns to rise and it took only 15mins instead of the usual 30mins to double in size. 
I was in such a lousy mood that I had no desire to add the nice chocolate "hot cross" on the buns at all. You can refer to the original recipe here or HHB's post for more information.

My original intention was to keep the buns in the fridge after shaping so that I can have freshly baked bread tomorrow morning for the whole family. However, since I had little faith, I decided to test them out tonight. I chucked the tray into the oven to bake.
And so it happened... the buns turned out very very nice! Soft and not dry at all! Texture was just right. I could have used much more cinnamon and chocolate chips. Alas, me of little faith.
The bread was good but was slightly dry the next day, probably due to the direct dough method being used. Nevertheless, it was good! Even a non-bread person like my hubby took 4 buns. :)

Blessed (Hot Cross) Buns
Makes 15-16 small buns

300g  plain or all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
7g instant yeast35g sugar 
40g unsalted butter, chopped or cubed
125ml milk, warmed
1 egg, lightly beaten
40ml warm water
150g chocolate chunks or chips

  1. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, instant yeast and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add in butter. Use a fork to rub butter into the flour mixture.
  3. Whisk egg with milk and water.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the egg mixture into it. Mix and knead into a dough.
  5. Add in chocolate chunks or chips and knead slightly to incorporate.
  6. Rest the dough for 10mins so that it will be easier to knead later.
  7. Bring dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead till dough pass the elastic membrane test. Or you can simply chuck it into a mixer with dough hook for this task.
  8. Form dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl.  Cover bowl with cling wrap and let it rise for 1 hour or till it doubles in size.
  9. Remove dough and give a few light kneading on a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 15-16 equal portions and shape into balls. 
  10. Place balls close to one another in a tray. Rest them for 20mins or till they are double in size. You can now brush the top with egg wash if desired. (I'm too lazy to crack another egg for this)
  11. Bake at preheated oven at 200 degC for about 15mins or until golden brown.
Bake date: 28 Aug 2012

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