Friday, April 22, 2011

No Sugar Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns have been invading the shops since back in February. The boys really love these little treats, but I'm the one who rarely buys them unless they are on the marked down table. Even then I'm often reluctant because they are made with sugar, and the less we have the more sensitive we become to it when we do encounter it.

Yesterday was Good Friday in Tasmania and it's quite typical to have fresh Hot Cross Buns and it just so happened that I had a recipe for such a treat that I really wanted to try out. Scripture Adventure's Easter Adventure happened to have a recipe in it, and I wanted to revamp it. 

Mr S is still under the weather with a cold and the boys were caught up in lego building and another episode of Cyberchase so it seemed like a great opportunity to try my method out.

Hot Cross Buns

Place 3/4 c milk, 1/2 t. salt, 1/8-1/4 c honey, & 3 T butter in a saucepan. Heat until butter is melted and salt is dissolved. Pour into the pan of a bread maker; if you don't have a bread maker place in a bowl so you can mix by hand.

Add 1 egg to the bread maker. Measure 3 cups of white flour into the bread maker, 1 t. cinnamon & 1 T yeast.

Set your bread maker to the dough only setting {thats 12 on my machine} and close the lid. Keep an eye on it incase you need to add a bit more flour. You may, depending on the size of your egg & the amount of honey you use. We used 1/8 c honey and felt they tasted fine as they were, but if you want them to be sweeter you'll want to use 1/4 c honey.

If you have a fruit and nut dispenser put 3/4 c of dried currants in there and close the lid and let your bread maker do it's own thing. If you don't have such a dispenser then surely your bread maker beeps towards the end of the kneading cycle, that's when you'd want to add the currants. If you're mixing this by hand you might want to add them before adding the flour in order to find incorporating them a bit easier.

Leave your dough in the bread maker until it's doubled in size. I took mine out 29 minutes before the end of it's cycle; my machine needs again 30 minutes before it shuts off. I didn't want that to happen! Put your dough on a very lightly floured countertop.

Butter, or otherwise grease, a 9x13 pan; divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Plop them in your buttered pan and cover with a towel. Let raise until doubled. It took just long enough for me to pop in and have a fun mocking a few scenes in the typical "beat em up" style movie Mr S was watching.

While the dough is raising mix together 1/4 c white flour, 1 T fructose {I chose this because typically the cross on the top of a bun is white, coconut sugar would have made it brown}, & 1 T water. Mix together until smooth and put inside a pastry bag. I used a disposable one.

I found the easiest way to fill the pastry bag was to place it inside a cup and scoop the mixture inside. When the dough is risen use the pastry bag to make crosses on each of the buns. Then,  pop them in an oven {180/350} for about 10 minutes. While they are baking place 1 T honey in a sauce pan and warm so it's super runny. When the timer goes off brush each roll with honey {you'll use about 3/4 of the honey in the pan}; rotate the pan and place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until rolls are golden brown and cooked.

I removed mine from the pan by slipping a thin spatula under them and then sliding a wire cooling rack under them; then I lifted the other side and finished shoving the cooling rack under it. You most likely don't need to do this unless your kids are jumping up and down trying ever so hard not to touch the burning hot pan.. I brushed the remaining honey on top of the rolls and passed them out. There was one left by bedtime and Im pretty sure there will be tears over breakfast as to who gets it.. 

Notes: You don't have to brush with honey if you don't want to. Some rolls have a glaze on top some don't. I chose to use honey as our glaze. It will leave the tops of the rolls slightly sticky, but no one here really cared. Despite popular belief the cross on top of the roll is not really made with icing, but you could if you preferred. Just don't add it until the rolls are cooked.

The shops also sell chocolate, mocha, and fruitless. {Personally I can't look at fruitless fruit buns without rolling with laughter much to the confusion of everyone else in the bakery section of the shop..} To make chocolate you'd add chocolate chips instead of currents, omit cinnamon, & add 2-3 T cocoa to the dough. The crosses on the chocolate ones are usually made from chocolate as well so you'd want to add some chocolate into the cross slurry. I might be tempted to try them if I had some chocolate in the house, but I'm not sure I have any to spare!  As for Mocha.. you're completely on your own. I can't stand the taste of coffee in any form so I couldn't even begin to tell you how to make them.

The original recipe calls for sugar; icing instead of a slurry for the crosses; and doesn't have a glaze on the top. Oh, and our rolls were huge! I'm talking two hands huge, but when I commented on this, the three men-folks in this house disagreed and said they were not too big.

1 comment:

Renelle said...

I love our breadmaker too, the buns look delicious. Hope you've had a happy Easter/Anzac/Earth/Miners Picnic? Day(s) over this time. Blessings, Renelle