19 August, 2011

Hot Cross Buns Revisited (and finally perfected!)

What was it I said about not being defeated by recipes? Clearly I have stubbornness issues and probably some "let-it-go" issues as well. I tried the "London Eats" recipe several times and came up with nothing but rock solid little buns. I still have no idea why that recipe won't work for me, and it still bothers me (there's that "let-it-go" thing again). Tonya suggested I try this recipe from the Pioneer Woman. It looked simple enough but it didn't have the spices of the London Eats recipe and I LOVED the flavor of those, even if they were little rocks. So I decided to combine them. The dough from Pioneer Woman's recipe, and the spices from the London Eats recipe. They turned out great on the first try!

Alright, to save you the trouble of figuring out how to combine these yourself, here ya go:

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup canola oil (please note that I do not own canola oil, I used olive oil, just so you know)
1/2 cup sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup additional flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar (no that's not a typo, I meant to put sugar in there twice)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
pinch ground cloves
1/2 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
1/2 cup currants

Combine milk, oil and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat until almost boiling, stirring occasionally. Just before it starts to boil, turn off the burner and let it sit for about 30 minutes. (I left it sit on the burner) 

Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and add the four cups of flour (one cup at a time) and stir to combine. The mixture will be very sticky (and that's an understatement!) Cover it and leave it for an hour.

Add the extra 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine. (I stirred with a fork) 

In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup of sugar (please note that Pioneer Woman's recipe says 1/4 cup, I used 1/2 cup because uuhhhh I can't read apparently) with the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves.

Lightly flour your work surface and plop on the dough. Slightly flatten the dough then sprinkle on some of the sugar/spice mixture and about 1/3 of the sultanas and currants. Fold the dough over on itself and knead just a little, then repeat the sprinkle and knead process until the spices and raisins are mixed in. 

Divide the dough into 12 pieces (Pioneer Woman says to make them ping-pong ball sized, I made them a bit larger) and put them on a cookie sheet. (Do yourself a favor and line the sheet with parchment paper, the buns will come off SO much easier and are less likely to burn on the bottoms). Cover the buns and let them rise for another hour.

Heat the oven to 400. I skipped the milk and egg wash and the icing, you can add them if you want. Bake for 20 minutes until the buns turn golden brown.

What do ya know? I CAN make bread!

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