Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hot Cross Buns

I saw a recipe for hot cross muffins on the King Arthur Flour website a few weeks ago and had hoped to make them to bring to work for St Patrick's Day, but life got a little hectic and I didn't get a chance to make anything for St Patrick's Day. So when one of my friends announced in lab meeting that her birthday was the day of our next meeting, I figured it would be the perfect time to bring something in for breakfast that morning. I was torn between these hot cross muffins and cinnamon buns. I have been wanting to make cinnamon buns, but haven't yet. I figure that I can make those another time and went with the hot cross muffins.

These are baked in muffin tins so they rise a bit higher than a flatter bun ( And the recipe makes 18 muffins, which is plenty to bring to lab meeting and still have a few at home for us.

As I have found with the other King Arthur Flour recipes, it was very easy to follow and each step came out just as expected. I think the biggest thing that I noticed was that my buns rose a lot more than the recipe suggested once I put them in the muffin tins. The dough was a lot more sticky than a bread dough, which worried me for a while, but I didn't want to add more flour and just kept going to see what would happen in the end. Perhaps I let the dough rise more than I was supposed to for the first rise.

When I let the buns rise for a second time in the muffin tin, the dough was still very sticky. I filled all 18 muffin cups and covered with plastic wrap for the second rise. After the suggested 20 minutes, I came back to put the muffins in the preheated oven. The dough had crested the muffin tins and some of it stuck to the plastic wrap when I removed it. I will need to remember to spray the plastic wrap with non stick spray before covering next time. I was afraid that the muffins would deflate because part of the dough stuck to the plastic wrap, but this wasn't the case. The muffins cooked beautifully in the oven and were nice and fluffy on top.

After cooling for a while, I added the crosses to the tops. I always misjudge the amount of frosting for anything I make. I either have half left when I am done or I run out super early and have to make another batch. Somehow I managed to get it just right this time. I was more than a little shocked and very happy about that. I put the buns in a tightly sealed container and put them aside to take to work the next day.

I brought in my hot cross buns and some OJ to lab meeting and everyone was surprised. Only a few people ate some before the meeting, so I was worried they didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. Perhaps they needed to be warmed for a few seconds to taste better. But after the meeting, people took a bunch with them and the last 4 were gone within a few minutes of placing them in the hallway.

I had one person tell me he loved the muffins and actually liked that they were taller and fluffier than normal hot cross buns. He also said that he had bought some at the store in past, but was always disappointed. He said mine tasted so fresh and wonderful and he had forgotten how much difference there is between processed baked goods at the store versus handmade treats. That made me very happy, you have no idea.

I think these were another great success. The greatest success is that I think I am not fairly comfortable with yeast breads. Each time things go a little better and I am a little less stressed during the entire baking process. I still need to make my cinnamon buns, I will get to those as soon as I can.

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