To celebrate Easter Day, there's easter eggs and Hot Cross Buns. I've seen this recipe a couple of times and just didn't try it because its a sweet bun, that I usually do not like. I saw a recipe again that is made of chocolates and well, that is something that I prefer. I happened to print out a recipe shared by one of member from www.thefreshloaf.com. Here's the link to the blog.
It was late at night, I just finished serving dinners to 3 boys - my son and his 2 friends. This was the first time that I felt that I didn't cook enough. My husband always says I prepare for an army like my mom, when I have visitors. Not this time though. There was barely anything left when the dinner was over.
After preparing dinner, I also made some Italian Bread. I decided that I needed to make more bread. I was flipping through my recipes for Hot Cross Buns and I came across this recipe that I printed out some time back, knowing that I will try this recipe some day. Well, I was going to try it since is Good Friday.
1. Mix the Preferment and put aside for 1/2 hour. I substituted Fresh Yeast with Instant Yeast here. It was bubbling after 1/2 hour with warm water.
2. Mix all dry ingredients for the dough and add in the preferment. Here I made some changes to the recipe. I added Cocoa powder, substituting 17g of the milk powder with Cocoa Powder. Mix well.
3. Add in the butter and preferment. At this point, I saw the recipe wrongly. It was late at night, my eyes were failing me with the orange lighting in my kitchen, and I read that I had to add 200g of water. Well, the words printed were probably at a size 7 or 8. Relatively small, my eyes were straining while reading. I used my electric whisk, and it was just too wet. I thought - ehmm this recipe is not right. I added probably a cup of floor, till the dough pulled off a little from the mixing bowl. It was still very wet to the touch.
4. I did some stretch and fold in the mixing bowl, left it for 15 minutes and did another stretch and fold. I can see that the dough is gaining gluten strength. Suppose to proof it for 1/2 hour, I let it proof from 1 hour and doubled in size.
5. I then took it out gently without degassing. Just gently flatten it. I was still a little sticky, so I had to put a little floor on my hand and a little on the surface. I didn't have raisins, sultana, or dried fruit. I substituted semi-sweet milk chocolate and white chocolate. I was too lazy too measure them, and I just took a handful, and spread them out. I folded the dough, it was very very soft, had to handle it carefully. Left it for 15 minutes.
6. I then cut them into 18 pieces about 65g each. The dough was sticky, I had a bit of a hard time ensuring that I don't have them stuck on my pantry table, nor my hands, or cutter. Anyway, I managed to cut and fold them, have to be careful not to add too much flour or the dough will not stick together . Roll them into a ball a little tightly and drop each of them nicely into a square pan. I have 2 square pans, that holds nine of them each. Spread 3 by 3, almost touching together. Very soon, the yeast was working and the dough expanded nicely. After 1/2 hour, I decided I needed to sleep.
7. I decided to put the Crossing Paste first, and mixed it up. Well, guess what, at that point, I realised I added the 200g water of the Crossing Paste into my dough. No wonder my dough is so wet and sticky, and I had to add more flour. Well, at least it came together. Mixing the paste together, I put it into a pipe and pipe it accordingly. I read my recipe again, and I realised I'm putting this paste too early. It was suppose to put in just before baking. Well, too late. Let's see what happens in the morning. I put the 2 pans in the fridge. I wet the cloth before I put it over the pan. I learnt that by doing that, I kept the dough moist and it won't dry up by the morning.
8. 6 hours later, I'm awake because 1 of the kids have to go off to attend his Saturday Class - Korean School. Such hardworking people! I'm thinking, me too. I decided to bake the dough cold. The dough looks well expanded, about 2 times bigger. Nicely set in the square pan. I put the pan into the cold oven, bake 10 mins at 100 degree celsius, adjust to 195 degree for 20 minutes. I checked that the dough hit 200 degree fahrenheit before I took it out. The bread rose very very nicely. Almost 3 times.
9. The Cross Paste was spread out a little, but I could still make out the cross. The bread turns out very very soft, I had a little problem taking it out from the pan although I had oiled the pan before I put in the dough.
10. I served the buns hot at breakfast but the kids each had 4 slices of bread with lots of ham, cheese, and butter and they were not interested in my sweet buns. Well, I guess I'll bring it to office to share with my colleagues who like sweet breads.
Adapted Recipe for the Ingredients:
100g Bread Flour
17g Caster Sugar
8g Instant yeast
150g Warm Water
All the Ferment
234g Bread Flour - with 1 extra cup (additional cup of water was a mistake)
10g Milk Powder
17g Cocoa Powder
50g Caster Sugar
Handful of Semi Sweet Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate
200g Water (this was a mistake)
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