Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Easter Idea - Brown Sugar Cranberry Hot Cross Bun

Happy April Fool everyone. Hope you didn’t any heart attack joke. Easter is now officially 3 weeks to go which mean another holiday/ celebration time. Unfortunately I will need to dig my head into my book and study for exam at the end of April (at least I have more time to study while everyone going out for holiday). But that’s fine; I can still have my own mini Easter party with my family by having a huge Easter feast with my family.

Since the last Easter Idea of Yoghurt Panna Cotta in Easter chocolate Egg, I’m going to show you another popular Easter food which you can easily find in store or bakery - Hot Cross Bun. My dad use to get them when I was young but back then I didn’t appreciate the flavour of cinnamon and sultana as much and so do my mum. So I did a different version by substitute cinnamon and sultana with brown sugar and cranberry. I love the taste of brown sugar more than caster sugar as it has some slightly cane sugar aroma and also make the taste has more layers. And Cranberry has been quiet a popular dried  fruit in the past few years, I like it not as sweet as sultana and has a little bit sour taste as well.

Before I don’t normally make bread because I thought it very time consuming but ever since I received a bread machine for Christmas present, we rarely get bread from store now but instead we bought tons and tons of bread flour. However the bread from bread machine tend to go dry and hard the next day, so I’ve done some research and found this amazing secret of bread. In this recipe, I will be using Tangzhong or water roux for my Hot Cross Bun. You will not believe just this one little extra step can make so much difference. 
From what I research, it was invented by Japanese baker who mixed flours and water in a ratio of 1:5 and boil it up to 65degree until you can draw a line. This partial cooked dough can help your bread recipe absorb more water and that the secret weapon for those soft and spongy bread you can found in Bakery (mostly Asian style bakery). You can use this trick in all other bread recipe you have, you just need to measure the total weight of your bread recipe and substitute 20-25% of Tangzhong with the ratio of 1 flour:5 water, then the rest of the step is the same.
Hope you enjoy this recipe and enjoy this super soft Hot Cross Bun for Easter. No more hard like rock homemade bread for breakfast. 


Secret Weapon – Tangzhong Water Roux (2 batch)
50g bread Flour
125ml milk
125ml water
(You can either use all water or all milk)

Hot Cross Bun (9 Pieces)
110ml milk
1 egg
100g Tangzhong or Water Roux
45g Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
350g Bread Flour
6g Instant Dry Yeast
40g Butter, Melted
½ cup dried cranberry

For Hot Cross topping
4 tablespoon flour
3-3 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon sugar
1) To make the secret ingredient first, mix the flour with milk and water until all flour dissolve and no lump.

2) Cook in low-medium heat and keep stirring, if you have a thermometer, cook the water roux up to 65C or until you can draw a ribbon on the batter. This amount should be enough to make 2 batches; you can leave it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
3) Transfer to bowl and cool down, cover the water roux with cling wrap to prevent surface dried out.

4) Put all ingredients into bread maker according to instruction (The order should be milk, Tangzhong, sugar, salt, flour and yeast put in last).

5) Select Dough mode in your bread machine. Once you saw all ingredients start to form a dough pour in the melted butter and dry cranberry in.

6) Once your bread maker finishes the dough process, poke a hole into the dough if it don't bounce back, your dough is finished.
7) Transfer the dough into a slightly flour bench top, press down the dough to get the air out. Cut into 9 pieces. Use a rolling pin to roll flat the dough and fold it like a dumpling to make a ball like dough.
8) Line a square 18cmx18cm pan with baking paper and transfer the ball dough into the pan.

9) Cover the pan with towel or cling wrap to prevent the dough drying out. Let the dough rise for another 1-1.5 hours until it rise and dough touching each other. (If the temperature in the room is not hot enough, prepare a bowl of warm water and water bath the pan.) 
10) About 10 minutes before the dough finish rising. Pre-heated the oven to 170C.
11) Combine the sugar, flour and water until well combined. Transfer to pipping bag.
12) Brush the bun with egg on the top and pipe the flour mixture on top to create the “Cross”.

13) Bake for 20-23 minuted. Once finished let it cool down for 5 minute before transfer to wire. 
Bon Appetite.