Monday, 26 March 2012

**drool**

I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but I gotta say – I am pretty darn awesome!

Of course I am fully awesome in my own right (I had a little help from Vegan Dad), but I will claim all the awesomeness that I can!

On Saturday, I embarked on a hot cross bun journey to tastiness. Having worked as a ‘shop girl’ many moons ago at Bakers delight, I was scarred from having to bag 1000 hot x buns in one morning (yes, 1000 buns). Not just because of this though, I do not buy BD HCB. They just don’t taste great. But unfortunately there are not many options for vegan HCB, so I decided to try baking my own buns (hehehehe).

I read through the chosen recipe, noted that I had most ingredients but decided to get some bread flour. So I popped down to the supermarket, picked up some Simply No Knead wholemeal flour, and some currants and went home with the task of making some tasty hot x buns!

The recipe itself was super easy; it just took a bit more time that I thought it would. It took some time to zest the lemon/orange (we have a crappy old grater), grind the flaxseed, and I was running on slow-mode (and juggling two loads of washing!).

Bun dough!

So this is the recipe I used – I have copied and pasted from Vegan Dad, and the slight changes I made I had added in (italics). I omitted the icing for the cross, and used another recipe (further down page).

HOT CROSS BUNS A LA VEGAN DAD
Makes 12
Ingredients
1 cup warm soy milk
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 tbsp. instant or active dry yeast (not rapid rise)
1/4 cup sourdough starter (optional, see method) (I did not use this, instead used soy milk as per method)
2 tbsp. ground flax seed (which I ground using mortar/pestle)
3 tbsp. warm water
2 tbsp. orange juice
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour (I ended up using closer to 5 cups of wholemeal bread flour, as the mixture was sticky)
2 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted margarine (I used nuttelex)
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup currants
Soy milk for brushing

Glaze
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

METHOD
1. Mix sugar, soy milk, and yeast together in a large bowl. Let sit until yeast is hydrated (about 1 min for instant yeast, a few mins for active dry). Mix in sourdough starter (if you don't want to use the sourdough starter, just add 2 tbsp. of soy milk to the above amount and proceed forth).
2. In a separate small bowl, mix flax seed and water together. Let sit for 1 min to hydrate, then whisk until thickened. Whisk in orange juice, then add to soy milk mixture.
3. Add 3 1/2 cups of flour, spices, margarine, and zests and bring into a dough, adding more liquid or flour as needed. The dough should be firm but still tacky. Knead on a lightly floured surface (or in a stand mixer) for 5-8 mins, until smooth, kneading in the currants right at the end.
4. Place in an oiled bowl, turning dough to coat, cover, and let rise until doubled (1 to 1.5 hours).
5. Line a backing sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (about 100g each), and shape into a ball. Place on prepared sheet and press down to flatten. Mist with oil, cover, and let rise until about doubled (30-45 mins). Preheat oven to 400.
6. Before baking, uncover and cut a shallow cross into the top of each bun with a razor blade or sharp knife. Brush with soy milk and bake for 15-17 mins, until a deep golden brown.
7. While buns are baking, bring glaze ingredients to bubbling over medium heat in a small saucepan. When buns come out of the oven, brush with glaze. Let sit for 1 min, then brush with glaze again. Let cool in the pan. The glaze is optional. It adds some sweetness, but also helps keep the buns fresh by sealing them off from the air.
Buns are ready to go in the oven!

We don’t own a pastry brush, so I just flicked some soy milk onto the unbaked buns – and then I used a plastic wooden spoon (??!) to drizzle on the glaze.

Now, between steps 5 and 6, I added a pastry cross based on this recipe, however I also added a teaspoon of caster sugar.

Crosses
50g (2 oz.) plain flour
25g (1 oz.) margarine
About 2 or 3 tsp cold water

Put the flour in a bowl and rub in the margarine until it forms crumbs. Stir in cold water (teaspoon by teaspoon) until you can form a dough. Roll the pastry out thinly and cut into 24 strips. Place strips on buns just prior to baking in oven.

And there you go. As simple as that!

The dough smelt really good, so I had high hopes when they came out of the oven. And boy, they were AWESOME. They were the perfect blend of spices, not too sweet and the perfect chewiness. I ended up polishing off 2, warm out of the oven.

Fresh buns out of the oven!

Oh man, I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally want one now…. Guess what I’ll be doing sometime this week!!

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